What is memory?
Memory is the mental activity of recalling information that you have learned or experienced. However, it is a complex process which involves various parts of the brain, and serves us all in very different ways.
How Learning And Memory Happen In Your Head
The need to be able to continually learn is vital to us all. Learning (or the opposite, forgetting) occurs in your brain through what is known as the Information Processing System. This system involves the following꞉
i. Short-Term Memory (STM)
All incoming stimuli, everything you see, hear, or smell, goes first into STM. Information is held here for a matter of seconds or a few minutes before discarded. Such memory is fragile.
ii. Working Memory (WM)
This is the active part of the Information Processing System. Information that you attend to gets moved from STM to WM. This is where conscious thinking and remembering happen. In about 5-20 seconds, your WM screens and decides how to handle the stimuli.
iii. Long-Term Memory (LTM)
Long term memory is all to do with the information that you are making an effort to retain, both consciously and unconsciously. Information that is processed is transferred into LTM. Information enters LTM from WM and must be classified, organized and stored. It can then be committed to LTM through repetition, such as studying for a test or associating it with material already in LTM. The three main activities of LTM are storage,
There is some information that you retain in your long term memory which will need you to make a conscious effort in order to recall it, such as a personal memory which relates to a specific experience or time in your life, known as episodic memory, or it may be some factual data that you need to recall, and this is known as semantic memory.
The other type of long term memory that we all have is known as procedural memory, and this is where your memory will recall skills or routines that you use so that you do not have to consciously need to recall them.
The AGES Model Of Learning
A – Attention꞉ To store information you must be attentive. Concentration is the key word here.
G – Generation꞉ After attention you must intentionally take the time and effort to notice and record information.
E – Emotion꞉ Emotion and memory are very strongly intertwined. Any information that touches on your emotions sticks with you better. You can also connect it to senses, you are more likely to remember it.
S – Spacing꞉ Cramming doesn’t work. It actually hinders learning to try to do it in a marathon session and go without sleep. Giving the brain breaks when learning has been shown to increase attention and retention.