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explicitInbothhippocampusandfrontalcortexThecerebellumstorageareaMemoryProcessesMemory is essentially the capacity for storing and retrieving information Three processes are involved in memory encoding storage and retrieval All three of these processes determine whether something is remembered or forgottenEncodingProcessing information into memory is called encoding People automatically encode some types of information without being aware of it For example most people probably can recall where they ate lunch yesterday even though they didnt try to remember this information However other types of information become encoded only if people pay attention to it College students will probably not remember all the material in their textbooks unless they pay close attention while theyre readingThere are several different ways of encoding verbal informationStructural encoding focuses on what words look like For instance one might note whether words are long or short in uppercase or lowercase or handwritten or typedPhonemic encoding focuses on how words soundSemantic encoding focuses on the meaning of words Semantic encoding requires a deeper level of processing than structural or phonemic encoding and usually results in better memoryStorageAfter information enters the brain it has to be stored or maintained To describe the process of storage many psychologists use the threestage model proposed by Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin According to this model information is stored sequentially in three memory systems sensory memory shortterm memory and longterm memorySensory MemorySensory memory stores incoming sensory information in detail but only for an instant The capacity of sensory memory is very large but the information in it is unprocessed If a flashlight moves quickly in a circle inside a dark room people will see a circle of light rather than the individual points through which the flashlight moved This happens because sensory memory holds the successive images of the moving flashlight long enough for the brain to see a circle Visual sensory memory is called iconic memory auditory sensory memory is calledechoic memoryShortTerm MemorySome of the information in sensory memory transfers to shortterm memory which can hold information for approximately twenty seconds Rehearsing can help keep information in shortterm memory longer When people repeat a new phone number over and over to themselves they are rehearsing it and keeping it in shortterm memoryShortterm memory has a limited capacity it can store about seven pieces of information plus or minus two pieces These pieces of information can be small such as individual numbers or letters or larger such as familiar strings of numbers words or sentences A method called chunking can help to increase the capacity of shortterm memory Chunking combines small bits of information into bigger familiar piecesExample A person confronted with this sequence of twelve letters would probably have difficulty remembering it ten seconds later because shortterm memory cannot handle twelve pieces of information HO TB UT TE RE DP OP CO RN IN AB OW L However these letters can be easily remembered if theyre grouped into six familiar words because shortterm memory can hold six pieces of information HOT BUTTERED POPCORN IN A BOWLWorking MemoryPsychologists today consider shortterm memory to be a working memory Rather than being just a temporary information storage system working memory is an active system Information can be kept in working memory while people process or examine it Working memory allows people to temporarily store and manipulate visual images store information while trying to make decisions and remember a phone number long enough to write it downLongTerm MemoryInformation can be transferred from shortterm memory to longterm memory and from longterm memory back to shortterm memory Longterm memory has an almost infinite capacity and
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