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Contents

  1. Memory loss: 7 tips to improve your memory - Mayo Clinic
  2. Information processing model: Sensory, working, and long term memory
  3. Navigation menu

Memory loss: 7 tips to improve your memory - Mayo Clinic

Leafy greens are packed with health-boosting nutrients and antioxidants including potassium, folate, calcium and beta carotene, which help to protect against age-related cognitive decline in addition to fending off certain cancers and chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. With the delicious and simple recipes in this meal plan, it's super easy to get your daily fill of greens.

Start the day off right with this creamy green smoothie.

1. Memory Encoding

A big cup of spinach is blended with banana, yogurt and avocado for a quick and healthy breakfast you can take on the go. Dried cherries take the place of raisins for a fun twist on this classic snack. The crunch of the celery and protein from the peanut butter help make this a satisfying morning snack. In this healthy salmon dinner, you'll get a hearty dose of greens, thanks to the heaping 10 cups of kale in this recipe.

Consider for a moment how many times a day you rely on your memory to help you function, from remembering how to use your computer to recollecting your password to log-in to your online bank account. The study of human memory has been a subject of science and philosophy for thousands of years and has become one of the major topics of interest within cognitive psychology.

But what exactly is memory? How are memories formed? The following overview offers a brief look at what memory is, how it works, and how it is organized. What exactly is a memory? Essentially, memory is a complex process that involves acquiring, storing, and recalling information. Not all memories are the same, however. Memory refers to the processes that are used to acquire, store, retain, and later retrieve information. There are three major processes involved in memory: encoding, storage, and retrieval.

Human memory involves the ability to both preserve and recover information we have learned or experienced. As we all know, however, this is not a flawless process. Sometimes we forget or misremember things. Sometimes things are not properly encoded in memory in the first place. Memory problems can range from minor annoyances like forgetting where you left your car keys to major diseases that affect the quality of life and the ability to function.

In order to form new memories, information must be changed into a usable form, which occurs through the process known as encoding. Once the information has been successfully encoded, it must be stored in memory for later use.

Much of this stored memory lies outside of our awareness most of the time, except when we actually need to use it. The retrieval process allows us to bring stored memories into conscious awareness. Some memories are very brief, just seconds long, and allow us to take in sensory information about the world around us. Short-term memories are a bit longer and last about 20 to 30 seconds. These memories mostly consist of the information we are currently focusing on and thinking about.

Finally, some memories are capable of enduring much longer, last days, weeks, months, or even decades.


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Most of these long-term memories lie outside of our immediate awareness, but we can draw them into consciousness when they are needed. To use the information that has been encoded into memory, it first has to be retrieved. There are many factors that can influence how memories are retrieved such as the type of information being used and the retrieval cues that are present.

Of course, this process is not always perfect. This is an example of a perplexing memory retrieval problem known as lethologica or the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon. Discover the basics of memory retrieval as well as possible problems with this process in this overview of how memories are retrieved.

While several different models of memory have been proposed, the stage model of memory is often used to explain the basic structure and function of memory. Initially proposed in by Atkinson and Shiffrin, this theory outlines three separate stages of memory: sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory. The ability to access and retrieve information from long-term memory allows us to actually use these memories to make decisions, interact with others, and solve problems. But how is information organized in memory?

The specific way information is organized in long-term memory is not well understood, but researchers do know that these memories are arranged in groups. Clustering is used to organize related information into groups. Information that is categorized becomes easier to remember and recall. For example, consider the following group of words:. Spend a few seconds reading them, then look away and try to recall and list these words. How did you group the words when you listed them? Most people will list using three different categories: color, furniture, and fruit. One way of thinking about memory organization is known as the semantic network model.

Information processing model: Sensory, working, and long term memory

This model suggests that certain triggers activate associated memories. A memory of a specific place might activate memories about related things that have occurred in that location.

For example, thinking about a particular campus building might trigger memories of attending classes, studying, and socializing with peers. Forgetting is a surprisingly common event.

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Forgetting can happen for a number of reasons including a failure to retrieve the information from long-term memory. Research has shown that one of the critical factors that influence memory failure is time. Information is often quickly forgotten, particularly if people do not actively review and rehearse the information.