Memory Mind Map of this page. Introduction

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Mind Map of this page.



Human Memory is a complicated system for storing and retrieving vast amounts of various types of information.  There is some disagreement as to the precise nature of the human memory system, however most experts accept a distinction between sensory memory, short term memory (STM) and long term memory (LTM)

Sensory memory is a system for retaining a brief impression of a sensory stimulus after the stimulus has ceased.  It is also characterised by being outside of conscious control (i.e. it happens automatically and unbidden).  The duration of sensory memory varies for each of the senses, although it is generally said to be under a second.  The purpose of sensory memory is to help people make initial subconscious assessment and judgement of sensory stimuli.

Sensory memory is evident when we view a person moving on television; we perceive him or her moving quite normally.  However the information that is presented to us is a series of frozen images (frames) separated by brief periods of darkness.  In order to see the moving image, it is necessary for the brain to store visual information from one frame until the arrival of the next (Baddeley, 1999).  Auditory sensory memory works in the same way. If a person hears the word “dyslexia” their sensory memory stores the “dys” and the “lex” sound until the end of the word after the “ia” sound is made in order for us to hear it as a single word. 

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