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Memory is the process of storing and recalling (upon demand) the information or knowledge that was previously acquired. It is a passive process or retaining information and is usually divided into two further types; short-term memory and long-term memory. The human brain functions in a number of complex ways to store and then retain the information that it acquires trough different sources (Whishaw, & Whishaw, 2014). It stores only the information that is relevant and deletes all the other unnecessary bits that it deems would not be valuable in the long-term future.
A number of theories have been presented by neurologists, psychologists, scholars, and other experts in order to explain this storage process. One of the very popular and widely accepted approaches in this respect is the Multistore Model of Memory, presented by Atkinson and Shiffrin in 1968 (Bekinschtein, Cammarota, & Medina, 2014). The Multistore Model of Memory (also known as the modal model) is a structural model and explains that memory is stored in three places or stores, a sensory register, short-term memory (STM), and long term memory (LTM).
Sensory memory consists of the shortest time span and only lasts for ¼ to ½ second. It is sense specific and has different stores for each sense. Then comes the short-term memory that has a duration of 0-18 seconds and can store up to more than seven items. Finally, there is long-term memory, which has unlimited duration and capacity. It is mostly a semantic kind of memory, but it can be visual or auditory.
Although the information is elaborately stored in different parts of the brain and a person can easily recall it whenever it i8s needed; however, sometimes the process fails. There are multiple reasons behind this, and not a single factor can be blamed, but the most common reason is the overburdening of the neurons or the excess of information that is being retained by the brain.
Bekinschtein, P., Cammarota, M., & Medina, J. H. (2014). BDNF and memory processing. Neuropharmacology, 76, 677-683.
Whishaw, B. K., & Whishaw, I. Q. (2014). An introduction to brain and behavior. New York:: Worth publishers.
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