Human Anatomy & Physiology (9th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0321743261
ISBN 13: 978-0-32174-326-8

Chapter 12 - The Central Nervous System - Review Questions - Page 481: 24


Memory is the process and ability to store information in and retrieve information from the brain. Most physiologists describe two types of memory, short term memory(STM), and long term memory(LTM). Short term memory, also called working memory, is very limited in the amount of information it can store and how long it can store it before it becomes irretrievable. In general, short term memory is capable of storing about seven to ten pieces of information at a time. For example, most people can look at a telephone number and then proceed to dial the seven or ten digits from memory, without having to look at the number repeatedly. But short term memory lasts for about 30 seconds to one minute, unless steps are taken to transfer the information by some form of rehearsal or repetition. Long term memory is memory that lasts a long time even a lifetime. Also the amount of information that can be stored in long term memory is very great, potentially limitless. This does not mean that the corpus of knowledge in long term knowledge remains the same indefinitely. Information can be lost or become irretrievable from STM.

Work Step by Step

Memory is the capacity and process of storing and retrieving knowledge, Memory is essential for the incorporation of learning and for incorporation of experience into behavior. Most physiologists speak of two type of memory , short term memory (STM) and long term memory (LTM) . The things we sense and perceive do not go directly to short term memory. First they are briefly sorted in a kind of buffer-- the so-called immediate memory--before selected items go to short term memory. The storage capacity of short term memory is very limited to about seven to 10 pieces of information. The length of time that short term memory can hold information so that it can be accurately retrieved is only about 30 second to one minute. After that, the memory decays and becomes difficult or impossible to retrieve-- unless it is transferred by rehearsal activities of some kind. Telephone numbers are usually given as information easily handled by short term memory, but directions to a location, and the names of people introduced to one are all examples of data usually satisfactorily handled by short term memory If much information and many facts are to be remembered for a long time, they have to be transferred to long term memory. Long term memory is potentially limitless, but it changes with time because some things are forgotten( cannot be retrieved). Information from our environment constantly floods our brain and consciously and unconsciously we transfer about 5% of that information to short term memory. Afterward,dependent on many factors, we transfer some of this information to Long term memory. Factors that influence the transfer of data to long term memory include emotional state, rehearsal, and association: if one is alert, surprised, aroused or motivated one remembers better.; rehearsal, repitition,and recitation facilitate transfer to long term memory; tying new information to things already stored improves transfer to long term memory. There are two forms of long term memory; declarative memory, and non-declarative memory --also called procedural memory. Declarative memory is the memory for facts, faces, dates and words. It is influenced by our facility with language. Non-declarative memory is acquired subconsciously or unconsciously; it includes motor memory ( riding a bike) , skills/ procedures( how to play a piano), emotions ( feeling of fear remembered from a scary experience). LTM is acquired by experience . Unlike declarative memory it is not stored with context, also, it comes back unconsciously with doing.
Update this answer!

You can help us out by revising, improving and updating this answer.

Update this answer

After you claim an answer you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. An editor will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback.