Human Memory At Work Essay Research Paper

Human Memory At Work Essay, Research Paper

The Human Memory The human body itself is a very wondrous and astonishing compound that has theability to perform actions that can only be described amazing. One of these actions that Ifind to be the most intriguing is the bodies ability to retain and then later retrieveinformation; otherwise known as memory. Memory is such ac important part of the humanmind because of the fact that it helps people remember, sometimes very vividly, events oractions in one s lifetime. Although memory is a very complex and difficult object to work with scientists havebeen able to branch it into 3 basic types of memory that the mind contains. The first isknown as sensory memory, this provides us with a temporary storage center for informationthat is brought to us by our senses. Sensory memory only contains information for a briefamount of time, its main purpose is to keep information just long enough for the mind todecide if it is worthy of retention. An example of this would be you notice that your friendhad recently got a haircut, you have to take a second look because your mind noticed therewas something different. The second type of memory is known as short-term memory or the working memory,which is another type of memory system that can only hold a limited amount of informationfor brief periods of time. It consists of two basic components; a phonological store ofrepresentations of words, and a rehearsal mechanism that refreshes the contents of thephonological store through repetition. An example of these devices is repeating alouddirections to a location for the purpose of memorizing it. Short term memory does not lastvery long, unless it is refreshed by using the repetition technique. The third type of memory system is used for remembering large amounts ofinformation for a long period of time. It is called the long-term memory, this is the systemthat is responsible for your recollection of events in your life that happen when you wereyounger such as; first days of school, first trips to the zoo, first plane ride, etc. In order forinformation to enter the long-term memory via the short-term memory one has to use themethod of elaborate rehearsal. This method is very similar to the rehearsal method ofshort-term but it requires somewhat of a cognitive effort. In order to recall information thathas been stored in the vast long-term memory, the process of retrieval is used. The retrievalprocess relies on organization to help keep information on hand and easy to locate forretrieval at any time. Two basic ways used by organization is the idea of categories-transportation, food, animals, etc., and hierarchies- idea of starting from one main idea andworking downward through more and more detail. These two organizational techniqueshelp keep ideas at a place where a person would not be speechless or at a loss for words atcritical moments. Similar to the way scientists have been able to develop the three basic types ofmemory, scientists have also divided up the types of information that memory holds into 3different categories. First of which is known as semantic memory, this is the generalknowledge about the world. Semantic memory lets us represent objects or situations that arenot on hand to be examined by our senses. The second type information is called episodicmemory, this allows us to recall things that we have seen, done, heard, and when theyhappened. Procedural memory is the third type of memory information and it is the

information that we can not easily put into words because it holds the information about howwe carry out and perform activities on a daily basis such as driving or riding a bike. Of course along with the idea of remembering subjects and ideas in ones memorybank there is also a opposite to this; forgetting. A very important process of the memory ismaking decisions about what information is valuable in the future and what is not. Oftentimes forgetting is looked upon as being a negative thing, however, what is not commonlyknown is that there are usually good reasons for not remembering certain things. Thesereasons often include: – Information is never actually entered into the memory bank. – Sometimes information that is added may be very similar to other information which makes it unretrievable. – Information that you have few associations with is harder to remember. – Memories often fade or change over time. – Some information can only be remembered when they are prompted to by some cues, and those cues aren t a part of everyday life.So even though forgetting important information is embarrassing at a time there is almostalways a good reason for it. Most often people who have experienced forgetting or notice that they do not seemto be able to retain information as well as they used to, ask the question, Is there any wayto improve upon my memory? The answer is yes, there have been many proven ideas andtechniques that improve on ones memory and most all of them are associated with thelearning process. Some steps of improving on ones memory are: – Association – Visualization – Written reminders – Auditory reminders – Story methods – Categorization – Word games (Roy G. Biv-color spectrum) – Elaborationthere are actually dozens and dozens of techniques used to help people increase therememory and in order for them to have any effect they have to be practiced on a daily basis inorder to perfect them. Unfortunately system there is also a downside to this miraculous function of thebrain; which is known as memory loss or amnesia. There is actually two types of amnesia,retrograde and anterograde. Retrograde amnesia is when everything prior to the amnesiainducing event is forgotten, in anterograde, everything after the amnesia producing event isforgotten. Such events that cause amnesia include illnesses, accidents, drug-abuse, or otherthings of that nature to where damage is being done to the part of the brain whereinformation is stored. There are also two major diseases that are found in retrogradeamnesia, they are Korsakoff s Syndrome and Alzheimer s Disease. Korsakoff s Syndromeis usually caused by along term of alcohol. Symptoms of this syndrome include sensory andmotor problems as well as heart, liver, and gastrointestinal, disorders. Another seriousdisease, Alzheimer s, is found among 5% of all people over the age of 65. Alzheimer susually begins with mild problems and through the years one experiences severe mentaldeterioration. Amnesia is a very serious memory disorder and effects the lives of everyfamily member if one is diagnosed with it. Memory is a very precious part of everybody s life without it no one would have apast and could not function properly. Often times many people take for granite such thingsas memory and do not realize that there memory is such a gift. I personally have known afew elders that have memory problems and only when it seems they need their memory themost it fails them and only then they notice that what they had was so special.


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