Posts Tagged ‘long term memory’

Long Term Memory And Short Term Memory

0 August 11th, 2009

There are obvious differences between LTM and STM. First of all, the difference is in amount of information, which these types of memories can store. STM can keep quite limited amount of data, which remains in active condition for prompt usage. LTM can keep huge amount of information for very long time.

Besides, both forming and operation of STM are connected with momentum. We keep in STM some piece of information, some reaction, emotion, etc., which we have learnt or experiences recently, right at the moment. That is why in many situations information in STM is clearer and more detailed, than the one we can recall from LTM, which was recorded and stored long ago.

Long Term MemoryBut, of course, STM and LTM are closely related between each other; because both of them (operating together) form our memory and allow us enjoy all its advantages. First of all, all the received information, which is kept in STM and used by our working memory for some urgent needs, sooner or later is transferred to LTM and gets stored there in order to be recalled in the future when necessary.

Besides, in many cases we find the information to keep in our mind for some urgent use (STM) in our old memories (LTM). In other words, sometimes necessary information for STM is recalled from our LTM. For example, a person can restore some vocabulary and knowledge of foreign language, which were obtained much earlier, and start practicing the language again, if required.

The Types Of LTM And Its Functioning Mechanism

0 July 8th, 2009

Long Term MemoryModern specialists differentiate several principal types of LTM. Declarative (or explicit) memory is connected with our abilities to remember some facts and events, which are available in our memory. All the processes, connected with this type of LTM, take place in cortex. Declarative memory includes some sub-types, like episodic memory (connected with time intervals), prospective memory (connected with our future prospects), or semantic memory (understanding of general concepts and meanings).

The other principal type of LTM is procedural (implicit) memory. This memory preserves our skills and abilities, which we frequently use in our daily life, like writing with a pen or playing musical instruments, etc. There is also one more category related with LTM, which is called emotional memory. This type of memory helps us to keep and recall (if necessary) some emotions, feelings, impressions and other psychological reactions, which took place before in our lives

The process of keeping and recalling information from our LTM has definite stages. The first stage includes formation of our LTM and “placing” some information into it. This information can be different and contain everything, which deserved our attention or was required to be memorized. The second stage is storing and keeping the information in our memory. This stage may not require frequent recalling of the stored data in order to “be sure” that it is still there, in our memory.

Further stages are connected with the necessity to recall the information, when we need to remember something. At the third stage the process of recognition takes place, when we try to send signals to our brains about the necessity of one or another type of information. And the last stage is recalling. This stage is connected with using of some triggers or hints, which help us to recall the information properly. For example, we can better recall some pleasant events we lived before, when we happen to be in similar environment, etc.

We form the content of our LTM when doing some actions, directed on memorizing some information we want to remember for long time. For example, when students try to learn and understand some new material at the lessons. Another powerful factor, which helps to save information to LTM, is psychological condition of an individual. For example, we remember very well the majority of things, which we ever did for the first time in our life. Also, the things, which brought us intensive positive or negative emotions, always stay in our mind for longer period of time.

Long Term Memory

0 June 19th, 2009

LTMMemory is one of the most important functions of human brain. Memory is our ability to keep in mind and recall different types of information, which we receive from the outside world during out lifetime. Human memory depends on specific abilities of an individual, and also on the types of information, which has to be remembered. Biochemical structure and processes, which make human memory work, are very complex. Therefore, a number of memory related issues still remain not very clear for modern scientists.

It is a known fact that there are long term memory (LTM) and short term memory (STM). Short term memory (sometimes is also called primary, acting or working memory) is a complex system, which serves for short-term storage and fast recalling of the information. In other words, STM helps to save some limited amount of information for some short time (usually, from 30-40 seconds up to a few minutes).

Long term memory helps to keep and store information for much longer time, even for all of our life. Our LTM stores the information, which we received years ago, and helps to recall it when it is required. If by some reasons our LTM can not reach necessary information, it is supposed to be lost and can be only re-obtained. Biologically, LTM is connected with some transformations in the structure of neurons in our brain.

At the first time the category of LTM was introduced by psychologist William James in his work Principles of Psychology, published in 1890. He discovered that human memory consists of two components: primary memory (STM) and secondary memory (LTM). Within the time, studying and analyzing the issues, connected with the properties of human memory, were among the most interesting and topical for biologists and medical scientists througout the world.