Memory (memory) is the brain’s ability to encode and store information and access it when needed. In other words, it is the accumulation of knowledge over time in order to influence future actions. There are various types of memory with different working mechanisms and functions. Remembering the past is essential for language, social relationships and character development. Memory problems that occur for various reasons lead to forgetfulness or amnesia.
When we say memory or memory for short in daily use, we usually mean long-term memory. However, there are different types of memory, such as short-term and sensory, and they are needed in order for long-term memory to settle. Although memory types have their own way of working, they cooperate in the processes of memorization and memory formation. The information obtained so far indicates that three steps are necessary for the formation of permanent memories.
Memory formation is still not a fully elucidated subject. Therefore, different theories have been proposed to explain the observed phenomena.
The transition from short-term memory to long-term memory is not an indivisible process, but three interdependent stages, known as the modal/multi-depo or Atkinson-Shiffrin model. Developed in 1968, this model is still popular in memory studies.
Alternatively, the processing levels model was proposed by Fergus Craik and Robert Lockhart in 1972. Accordingly, the extent of recall and memorization is a function of mental processing depth. Memory occurs on a continuous scale from shallow (perceptual) to deep (semantic). In this model, there is no distinction between short-term memory and long-term memory, and there is no real structure associated with memory.
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Memory Formation Process
The three important stages in memory formation are encoding, storage, and retrieval. Hardening, which is a component of encoding or storage, can sometimes be treated as a separate phase. Consolidation is divided into synaptic and systemic. Synaptic consolidation happens in the first few hours after learning or coding. When signal transmission between two neurons becomes more frequent, synapse strength increases. If stimuli follow the same paths over and over in the neural network , a pattern of reduced resistance eventually occurs in signal transmission. Learning to repeat and play a song many times is done by this mechanism. Systemic consolidation is a process that takes weeks or months in which information becomes independent from the hippocampus. Neural plasticity, the ability of the brain to reorganize itself in response to experiences known as.
During the memory formation process, sensory stimuli are encoded and converted into engrams (units where information is stored). With consolidation, long-term potentiation takes place and information is stored. A recall process is required for recall to occur.
Memory is basically an information processing system. The physical or chemical stimuli received from the outside world are encoded by the working memory (short-term memory) on a conscious or subconscious level. Another task of working memory is to recall previously stored information. The task of long-term memory is to store information in various categorical models or systems.
Sensory memory allows sensory information to be retained for less than a second after it has been perceived. An example of sensory memory is to look at something for a moment and then remember what is seen. It occurs automatically, beyond the control of consciousness. Three types of memory have been defined: iconic (sense of sight), echoic (sense of hearing), and haptic (sense of touch).
Short Term Memory
Short-term memory is also called working memory. It allows information to be remembered for a few seconds or minutes without repetition. Its capacity is limited. It can hold 4-5 items on average, but this number can be increased with the fragmentation technique (such as grouping a 10-digit phone number into 3-3-4 digits). Short-term memory is generally thought to be based on the acoustic code when storing information.
Long Term Memory
While the capacity of sensory and short-term memory is limited, long-term memory allows large amounts of information to be stored. Usually semantic encodes information. Another subtype is episodic memory, which stores the answers to “what”, “where”, “when”, thus storing personal memories.
Open and Subconscious Memory
Declarative (declarative) or explicit memory is the conscious storage and recall of information. There are two subtypes of declarative memory, semantic (semantic) and episodic (partial). Semantic memory stores information that has specific meaning. For example, general information about the world is in this group. Episodic memory, on the other hand, corresponds to personal memories encoded in the space-time plane. When talking about memory, it is usually the declarative type that comes to mind first. Non-declarative or subconscious memory is the unconscious storage and retrieval of information. An example of this is procedural memory, in which skills are learned slowly and gradually, often without conscious attention. Another example is the priming phenomenon. Exposure to a stimulus in this phenomenon unconsciously influences the response to the next stimulus.
Short-term memory is based on temporal patterns of neuronal communication in the frontal and parietal lobes . Long-term memory is maintained by more permanent neural connections spread throughout the brain. Although the hippocampus plays a critical role in transferring information from short-term to long-term memory, it does not itself store information. Without the hippocampus, new memories cannot be transferred to long-term memory, and the person’s attention span becomes considerably shorter.
We know that memory does not work perfectly. Problems can be seen that disrupt the stages of coding, storing and recalling information. Various diseases of the brain, trauma or the aging process can affect memory.