Memory is one of the important activities that help to interact with the outside world. This research paper reveals and explains the process of memory. It describes the three steps of the memory process. The given example explains this process. The paper highlights the factors that enhance and impede information flow. It also includes explanation of the proactive and retroactive interferences and strategies to improve human memory.
Memory is one of the types of mental functions and mental activities that are designed to preserve, store and reproduce information. It is the ability of the human being to store the information of the events of the outside world. There are three steps in the human memory model: encoding, storage, retrieval. All of these steps represent the whole process of the memory from the beginning to its end. The process starts with the change of information for chemical and physical stimuli. It continues with the process of storage. The final part of the memory is the process of retrieval of the information that we have stored.
Encoding is the first stage of the memory process. It begins with perception and continues with transforming the information into the language of chemicals. The hippocampus plays the main role in this activity. It analyzes sensory inputs and forms the perception into one single experience. The whole information goes through the nerve cells that have thousands links between each other. When the information is changed, encoded impulses goes to your brain. There is a start of the second stage of the memory. We need to store information in out brain. This process could be divided into sensory stage, short-term memory, and long-term memory. All these stages help to protect from the overabundance of the information. They serve as a filter. We do not need to know every detail of the each experience. Perception is stored in the sensory stage. The short-term memory could hold just several items. The other information that is important for us goes from short-term memory to the long-term memory. The sensory and short-term memories are limited. The long-term memory could store the information without a limit. The last step is retrieval which refers to the recalling of the stored information during the activity.
Here is an example that illustrates the process of memory. You bite the piece of apple with closed eyes. You do not see what the fruit is in your hand. When the apple touches your tongue and teeth, the information from perception is transform through the nerve cells to the hippocampus. It sends the impulse to the stored information in the long-term memory. Then, the brain recalls the stored information and you can feel the taste of apple. All this process takes a very short period of time.
There are some factors that enhance or impede the flow of information to the memory. The main factors to enhance the capacity of memory are attention and background knowledge. Chronic stress could impede the memory. It could cause the neuronal damage of the cells inside hippocampus. Alcohol, drugs, loss of sleep, brain injury could be the reasons that impede information flow. There are also proactive and retroactive interference. Proactive interference happens when the person cannot recall something, because previous information is interfering with the process of retrieval. It is called that it works forward in time. When it works back in time and the person cannot recall something due to the later information, it is called retroactive interference.
There should be included the process of forgetting to the memory definition. It is an important part of the memory which could serve as a protective reaction of the mind. It is normal to forget, but not too much. There are kinds of forgetting as repressed Erasure, Prescriptive Forgetting, Structural Amnesia, Forgetting as Annulment, Forgetting as Humiliated Silence, etc. All of them blocks the memory and complicate the process of retrieval.
The process of the memory could be improved with some strategies. People have to be more organized and pay more attention to the things that around them. When you learn something, you should use all your senses. Being engaged in the activity where you can use your memory is a good one. Morning exercises and enough time on sleep activity.