The three models of memory. How they work individually and together.

Essay by nabhatiesCollege, UndergraduateA, January 2008

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Memory is defined as the faculty by which sense impressions and information are retained in the mind and subsequently recalled. A person's capacity to remember and the total store of mentally retained impressions and knowledge also formulate memory (Encarta). Memory is fundamental to our everyday lives, we have to recall who we are, recognise the faces of others and remember how to move and communicate. Several models of the way in which memory is structured and how it functions have been advanced and although there are many differences between the models, they all view memory as a means of processing information. We do not simply record information, we carry out some sort of processing as we eliminate, store, organise and reconstruct the information we receive. This information processing occurs through three levels of memory: sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory.

Sensory memory is the first level of memory. Sensory memory retains the brief impression of a sensory stimulus after the stimulus has ended.

An example of sensory memory is if you see a car, the image of the car is briefly held by the sensory memory and as the car moves on you lose the information unless you transfer it to your short-term memory. The sensory memory holds a short impression of sensory information even when the sensory system does not send any information anymore. It refers to items detected by the sensory receptors which are retained temporarily in the sensory registers and which have a large capacity for unprocessed information but are only able to hold accurate images of sensory information momentarily (Brown, 2001). There are two types of sensory memory: iconic memory for visual and echoic memory for hearing stimuli and touch. In 1960, experiments performed by George Sperling provided evidence that your iconic memory seems to...