Components of Memory


Components of Memory






There are THREE main components of memory: Short Term , Long Term and Active Working Memory.

With Short Term Memory, the person manages to save information in small packets, up to a dozen items and for a few minutes until distracted.

Long Term Memory depends on association and recall. This is a permanent storehouse of unlimited capacity.

Active Working Memory , for example is the working memory that includes taking notes in a classroom during a lecture or trying to remember a phone number someone has just given you while listening to that person give further instructions.



Why and How We Forget


  • Fading of the neurochemical brain trace due to a lack of use.
  • Reorganizing or distorting memories by filling in gaps with related knowledge.
  • Interference of new learning with old and vice versa.
  • To counteract forgetfulness, we should use what we learn, search for meaningfulness, avoid learning under unpleasant circumstances, and try to avoid learning similar bits of knowledge at the same time.


Photo of the neural forest
Photo of the Neural Forest

Site maintained by Diana T. Mackiewicz, Ma.Ed.
Last updated June 2005.