Essay: Long-Term and Short-Term Memory

Memory is a paramount thing for a human being. As long as one remembers about his own person, his parents, friends and the history of the entire human civilization, he can be called a personality.

The most frightening thing is the loss of memory. When one forgets everything, he is excluded from the human society. He cannot work, study and enjoy his life whereas he does not remember about the major point of his existence. Thus, the problem of memory is very relevant and notable.

Everyone should know about the types of memory and its importance for his life. If you know about the kinds of human memory, you are able to take efforts to train and improve it. There are numerous techniques that can help one develop his memory. Needless to say but excellent memory is able to increase one’s performance at the workplace and in education.

Our brain is probably the most considerable part of our organism. It controls our motor functions, work of our organs and of course memory. We remember things due to the hard work of our brains.

Memory is overtly a great process inasmuch as we can remember names, appearances, dates and even languages. What is more, memory is a very complicated process that consists of numerous stages and levels. One can differentiate two primary kinds of memory – long-term and short-term memory.

What is long-term memory? Long-term memory is characterized with the hard work of our brain, which receives, manages and stores information. When you remember something for more than several minutes, it has been stored in the long-term memory. In fact, long-term memory does not have any exact terms of lasting. Sometimes one can remember something for several days. Other facts are remembered for years. Our brain is divided into numerous sections and every section is responsible for the specific type of memory. There are such kinds of long-term memory that can keep information for several days. For instance, if you learn a poem at school, you can remember it for a week without repeat. Very soon, you forget the poem and the section is occupied by another doze of information. There are such sectors of our brain that ‘remember’ essential information that is vital for our life. For example, we do not forget how to walk, speak and eat. Therefore, there are several main types of long-term memory. Firstly, there is explicit memory. This kind of memory requires conscious thinking. This type is also associative. For instance, if you want to recall the person who was at the party, you think about her clothes or behavior. You gather the whole puzzle and recall the required person. Secondly, there is implicit memory that does not require conscious thinking. This type of memory is related to ‘how to’ knowledge. We do not need to think how to ride a bike or make our bed. We simply know how to do it unconsciously.

Short-term memory is a subordinate kind of memory that helps us cope with numerous slight and temporary challenges. For example, if you need to remember a telephone number, you repeat it several times and remember it for a few seconds. Then, you write it down and forget it. Short-term memory is responsible for the information we are not obliged to learn. Thereof, this kind of memory is called ‘working memory’.

Both kinds of memory are of vital importance for us. If you want to develop your long-term memory, you ought to train your short-term memory as well. Bear in mind that knowledge is recorded in our long-term memory through the channels formed by the short-term memory. If you repeat something many times, you record it in your brain. Unfortunately, our memory is very vulnerable and unstable. It requires constant training and loading. If you do not learn poems or a few paragraphs of any works of literature every day, the capacity of your memory reduces. In addition, memory is influenced by our age. When we become older, we can ‘record’ less information into our short-term memory. No wonder, our grandparents have to write down telephone number and make ‘to do lists’.

Undoubtedly, memory is of paramount importance for us. Both long-term and short-term memories help us organize our time wisely, study, work, entertain and simple stay the rightful members of our society. In fact, we should take care of our memory in order to help it work in the appropriate way. Learning by heart should become a daily exercise for our brain.

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