A Critical Discussion Of The Relationship Between Memory And Amnesia With Specific Reference To The Definitions Of Memory, Types Of Memory, Stages Of Memory Processing, Types Of Amnesia And The Main Brain Structures

619 words - 3 pages


The American Heritage Medical Dictionary (2007) states MEMORY as ‘the mental faculty of retaining and recalling past experience based on the mental processes of learning, retention, recall , and recognition’ and AMNESIA is defined as ‘partial or total loss of memory, usually resulting from shock, psychological disturbance, brain injury, or illness’.

Memory is the ability we have to take in, make sense of, store, and recall ...view middle of the document...

Sensory memory processing: Information is received via stimuli from the five senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch) where it is retained briefly but accurately and automatically without requiring conscious attention from us. Information is either ignored (automatically discarded) or perceived – entering our sensory memory. This happens in a very short amount of time, 200 – 500 milliseconds, forming part of the process of perception. Attention is critical at this stage to ensure that the information is passed onto the next stage – attention is more likely if the stimulus has an interesting feature or activates a known pattern (Huitt, W., 2003).

2. Short-term memory processing: also called working memory and entails what we are thinking about at a given moment - as we attend to an external stimulus or an internal thought or both. A small amount of information, about 7±2 items, (Miller, 1956) are processed and remembered for under a minute. If the information is repeated (called maintenance rehearsal) it may be available for up to 20 minutes according to Huitt (2003). Retention...

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