Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

The Psychology of Memory

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

The Psychology of Memory

Article excerpt

The Psychology of Memory

Memory is usually thought of as a "magic slate" that can be wiped to allow more writing upon it, but at the same time retains that which is written beneath.

Freud said that it solves the problem of combining two functions by dividing them between two separate but interrelated component parts or systems. In human memory, these two interrelated systems are known as short-term and long-term memory.

Before an event can be stored in memory, it must be experienced in some way by the brain. As information flows in from the senses, the brain retains the stimulus briefly. The image of a flower fleetingly registers on the retina when the eye is closed, the sound of thunder echoes in the brain -- mechanisms of the sensory register. The images are retained for no more than a few seconds -- long enough for the brain's perceptual systems to act upon them.

The register records tremendous amounts of information, but only a small amount filters into the short-term memory. Human attention has its limitations so some images vanish from awareness. …

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