Explain How Memory Works

In a broad sense memory has three steps Step one is encoding

Encoding is the technical name for importing stuff into the brain It converts real-world sensations into a contract Constructs are ideas or mental representations Just as maps are simplified representations of real-life, constructs are simplified representations of our sensations Do you remember using one of those clock cranes to extract the toy you wantes? We extract important concepts from our sensory inputs

Encoding doesn't apply to learning skills or building habits, we have separate systems of language and movement Encode is the input process of your declarative memory system We don't have to convert movements and skills Our brains understand them readily and outsource their control to subcortical regions Step two is storage We don't know how information ideas are stored but we know they are stored because of step 3

Step three is retrieval It is getting things back out Retrieval is the proof we encoded and stored something If we can recall it, we learned it But if we can't retrieve a bit of information we don't know where we went wrong

In general people are bad encoders At least we're not focused encoders Often we don't recall the name of someone we just met because we didn't really encode it We hear the words go by but we're thinking of what to say next, or something else completely Storage happens so automatically there doesn't seem to be anything we can consciously do to improve it

We notice how a disease like Alzheimer's damages the brain, and we can't retrieve things, but we pretty much let storage take care of itself You're on your own There are things we can do when we can retrieve things right away Most of us learn to wait "What was the name of that actor in that movie, you know the one

" and eventually it comes to us We can also search for things that sound like or look like Or tie it to a particular situation

"Remember it was a really hot day, and we were lost" Overall our memory systems work wonderfully The stimuli come to us, we buffer them with sensory memory, giving us enough time to process them

We temporary store our current experience and then while we sleep, we convert these memories into sparse encodings Sparse encoding consolidates our information memories for easier storage, tucks it away in long-term storage and adds labels for easy retrieval

Source: Youtube


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