Short-Term Memory

memory (in psychology)

memory, in psychology, the storing of learned information, and the ability to recall that which has been stored. It has been hypothesized that three processes occur in remembering: perception and registering of a stimulus; temporary maintenance of the perception, or short-term memory; and lasting storage of the perception, or long-term memory. Two major recognized types of long-term memory are procedural memory, involving the recall of learned skills, and declarative memory, the remembrance of specific stimuli. For long-term memory to occur, there must be a period of information consolidation.

The process of forgetting was first studied scientifically by Hermann Ebbinghaus, a German experimental psychologist, who performed memory tests with groups of nonsense syllables (disconnected syllables without associative connection). Ebbinghaus showed that the rate of forgetting is greatest at first, gradually diminishing until a relatively constant level of retained information is reached. Theories to explain forgetting include the concept of disuse, which proposes that forgetting occurs because stored information is not used, and that of interference, which suggests that old information interferes with information learned later and new information interferes with previously learned information.

In some instances, memory loss is an organic, physiological process. Retrograde amnesia, i.e., the failure to remember events preceding a head injury, is evidence of interrupted consolidation of memory. In anterograde amnesia, events occurring after brain damage—e.g., in head injury or alcoholism—may be forgotten. Memory loss may also result from brain cell deterioration following a series of strokes, cardiovascular disease, or Alzheimer's disease (see dementia).

Physiologically, learning involves modification of neural pathways. PET scans and related studies have shown certain parts of the brain, such as the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex and a structure called the hippocampus, to be particularly active in recall. Computer models of brain memory are called neural networks. In a study using genetic manipulation, a mouse with enhanced memory capabilities has been produced.

See M. H. Ashcroft, Human Memory and Cognition (1989, repr. 1994); N. Cowan, Attention and Memory (1995, repr. 1998); J. McConkey, ed. The Anatomy of Memory (1996); D. L. Schacter, Searching for Memory (1996) and The Seven Sins of Memory (2001); J. A. Groegerd, Memory and Remembering (1997); A. Baddeley, Human Memory (rev. ed. 1998); R. Rupp, Committed to Memory (1998).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Short-Term Memory: Selected full-text books and articles

Working Memory in Perspective
Jackie Andrade.
Psychology Press, 2001
Visuo-Spatial Working Memory and Individual Differences
Cesare Cornoldi; Tomaso Vecchi.
Psychology Press, 2003
Essentials of Human Memory
Alan D. Baddeley.
Psychology Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Short-Term Memory"
Visual Short-Term Memory Operates More Efficiently on Boundary Features Than on Surface Features
Alvarez, George A.; Cavanagh, Patrick.
Perception and Psychophysics, Vol. 70, No. 2, February 2008
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Concreteness Effects in Short-Term Memory: A Test of the Item-Order Hypothesis
Roche, Jaclynn; Tolan, G. Anne; Tehan, Gerald.
Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, Vol. 65, No. 4, December 2011
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Updating Objects in Visual Short-Term Memory Is Feature Selective
Ko, Philip C.; Seiffert, Adriane E.
Memory & Cognition, Vol. 37, No. 6, September 2009
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Short-Term Memory and Time Estimation: Beyond the 2-Second "Critical" Value
Fortin, Claudette; Couture, Emmanuelle.
Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, Vol. 56, No. 2, June 2002
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Auditory Distraction and Short-Term Memory: Phenomena
Banbury, Simon P.; Macken, William J.; Tremblay, Sebastien; Jones, Dylan M.
Human Factors, Vol. 43, No. 1, Spring 2001
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Word-Length Effect Provides No Evidence for Decay in Short-Term Memory
Lewandowsky, Stephan; Oberauer, Klaus.
Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, Vol. 15, No. 5, October 2008
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
On Human Memory: Evolution, Progress, and Reflections on the 30th Anniversary of the Atkinson-Shiffrin Model
Chizuko Izawa.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "Efficiency in Acquisition and Short-Term Memory: Study-Test-Rest Presentation Programs and Learning Difficulty"
Memory Development between Two and Twenty
Wolfgang Schneider; Michael Pressley.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: "Short-Term Memory Capacity as Measured by Short-Term Memory Span" begins on p. 54 and "The Importance of Short-Term (Working) Memory in Cognition" begins on p. 70
The Handbook of Memory Disorders
Alan D. Baddeley; Michael D. Kopelman; Barbara A. Wilson.
John Wiley & Sons, 2002 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 12 "Neuropsychological Impairments of Verbal Short-Term Memory"
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.