What is memory?
People often talk about their memory as though their memory is an object that can be possessed. Memory isn't something that can be seen, touched or weighed like an object. It is a mental process and not something you can hold in your hand.
If this is the case, is it possible to train our memory?
Memory training refers to effective processing of information so that we can retain information better. You don't get better at memorizing things just by using your memory, but you can get better at remembering things by learning some memory-enhancing techniques.
How is memory processed?
Information received by the brain is processed for memory in 3 basic steps:
Step 1: REGISTRATION
Registration refers to the process of getting the information.
Step 2: RETENTION
Retention refers to the process of storing and filing the information that you have registered.
Step 3: RETRIEVAL
Memory Retrieval occurs when we find, recall or recognize the information that has been stored away in our mind.
When a piece of information is picked up by a person, there are different stages of memory that the information is likely to pass through while it is being processed by the brain.
Firstly, the information received is passed through the immediate memory stage. Immediate memory is used in our daily chores and routine. It occurs continuously and works automatically.
The second stage involves short-term memory. Short-term memory allows us to remember five to nine bits of information before some of them are transferred to long-term memory. It is possible to consolidate the items in short-term memory trace by refreshing the information picked up.
The third and final stage involves long-term memory. No one knows how much information we can store in our long-term memory. The information will either fade away or be interrupted by other information if it is not used or repeated. Generally, experiences that have a drastic impact on a person will end up being stored in the person's long-term memory.
The different kinds of memory
There are altogether 3 different kinds of memory:
Verbal and Auditory Memory - Involves speech or different sounds
Visual Memory - Involves images & things that we see everyday
Kinesthetic Memory - Is associated with our ability to remember certain motor actions, e.g. how to play a musical piece on the piano