Learning Activity 1 (p. 237)

Learning Activity 6.5 (p. 249)

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Learning Activity 6.5 (p. 249)

1 What is sensory memory?

Sensory memory is the entry point of memory, the memory system in which incoming sensory information is received and temporarily retained in its original sensory form for a very brief period of time.

2 Distinguish between the terms sensory memory and sensory register.

Distinction should refer to sensory memory as the construct used to generally refer to the store for all types of incoming sensory information and to sensory register as the construct used to refer to the store for each specific type of sensory information. In addition, each register has other distinguishable features, e.g. encoding process, storage duration.

3 Why can sensory memory be described as a memory system or sub-system rather than a perceptual system?

Explanation should refer to sensory memory having a storage/retention function for incoming sensory information and holding the information in its raw form, whereas a perceptual system receives and processes incoming sensory information to interpret the raw information in a meaningful way.


a Define iconic memory and echoic memory with reference to examples that help clarify the definitions.

• Iconic memory: visual sensory memory that stores visual images in their original sensory form for about 0.2–0.4 seconds.

• Echoic memory: auditory sensory memory that stores sounds in their original sensory form for about 3–4 seconds.

b Describe the main distinguishing characteristics of iconic and echoic memory, ensuring you refer to the type of sensory information received and duration of storage.

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