What are the different types of memory? Memory is basically the way we remember things. It is the place where we store the things and events that we go through every day. Our brain is able to process information at unbelievable speeds. Sometimes, we end up forgetting things that we just heard or seen. There are actually studies that have shown that almost 40% of people tend to forget the things they are saying – while they are saying it. Therefore, it is important that you take good care of you memory. There are three main types of memory. – Long term memory, short term memory, and sensory memory.
Sensory memory is basically the shortest of the types of memory. Here, the only things we are able to remember are those that are happening at that second (or less). Most science books define the sensory memory as the ability to recall imprints of the sensory information we experience that second. As the name implies, these types of memory focus on what our senses experience. These five senses are sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. The sensory memories are like ultra-short term memories. They can only retain the things up to 500 milliseconds. The sensory memory that stimulates vision is called iconic memory. On the other hand, the sensory memory that stimulates hearing is called echoic memory. And the sensory memory that stimulates touch is called haptic memory.
Short term memory is our brain’s scratch pads. These are types of memory that will recall everything that happens under a minute. This is why many scientists call this the brain’s post it note. Here, the brain is only able to store somewhere around 7 items of information and forget it after a minute has passed. The problem with the short term memory is that if you try to retain information here, the more you will forget them. But keep in mind that the short term memory is a stepping stone to the next types of memory, the long term ones.
Long term memory is basically the brain’s long term storage location. However, this doesn’t mean that you will be able to retain the information for a life time. Yes, you will still be able to retain the information for long periods of time though. This is because the long term types of memory can house almost limitless amounts of data. Under the long term memory, there are two more types of memory. These two types are explicit and implicit memory. The explicit memories are information that we work hard on to remember. On the other hand, implicit memory store information that we do not exert any effort to remember. Under the explicit types of memory, we have declarative memory. These are basically facts and events that we want to retain in our memory. Under implicit memory, we have procedural memory. These are basically skills and tasks that we memorize unconsciously. Under the declarative types of memory, we have episodic memory and semantic memory.
The episodic memories are those events and experiences thatwe want to keep in our memory. Semantic memories, on the other hand are the facts and concepts that we need to remember.