Storage and Sensory Memory George Sperling played one of three tones (each tome corresponding with a row of letters). Then he flashed the letters for less than a second and the subjects were able to identify the letters for the corresponding row,
Iconic Memory a momentary sensory memory of visual stimuli, a photograph like quality lasting only about a second. We also have an echoic memory for auditory stimuli. If you are not paying attention to someone, you can still recall the last few words said in the past three or four seconds.
Storage and Short-Term Memory Lasts usually between 3 to 12 seconds. Can store 7 (plus or minus two) chunks of information. We recall digits better than letters. Short-term memory exercise.
Storage and Long-Term Memory We have yet to find the limit of our long-term memory. For example, Rajan was able to recite 31,811 digits of pi. At 5 years old, Rajan would memorize the license plates of all of his parents’ guests (about 75 cars in ten minutes). He still remembers the plate numbers to this day.
How does our brain store long-term memories? Memories do NOT reside in single specific spots of our brain. They are not electrical (if the electrical activity were to shut down in your brain, then restart- you would NOT start with a blank slate).
Long-Term Potentiation (LTP) The current theory of how our long-term memory works. LTP is an increase in a synapse’s firing potential after brief, rapid stimulation. Memory has a neural basis. In other words, if you are trying to remember a phone number, the neurons are firing neurotransmitter through the synapse. The neuron gets used to firing in that pattern and essentially learns to fire in that distinct way. It is a form of rehearsal (but for our neurons).
Stress and Memory Stress can lead to the release of hormones that have been shown to assist in LTM. Similar to the idea of Flashbulb Memory.