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Memory Improvement - How Short Term Memory Works

Author Zizzur Staff. Published on July 7, 2011 - 5:29 pm (3562 views — 393 words)

Review all night- that is what the students do to cram the night before an exam. The practice works most of the time thus motivating many students to adapt it as a habit of study till they finish school. Outstanding productivity out of cramming was once thought to be due to intelligence and exemplary memory. Conversely, that is more because of short term memory (STM) at its best! This explains why a great number of people aspire to improve their short term memory.

The human brain memory system has three memory functions, namely: sensory memory, short term memory and long term memory (LTM) or permanent memory. What become short term memory are actually sounds (acoustic) and images (iconic) from the sensory memory that go through the process of selective selection. Cramming before an exam is actually more of a working memory that remains as active memory until such time it is utilized (Anderson, 2000). The information, however, in the STM are retained poorly. The good thing is, information in STM can become LTM through repeated use of them. Memory loss happens because STM holds a finite capacity called memory span. In order for new information to get inside STM, space must be created for it and that means losing the old ones.

So, knowing that STM has a limited capacity, in what way can it be enhanced?

For the STM to be improved it would entail storing what is there to the long term or permanent memory. This kind of thing is not a function of time but a result of successful organizing of the many complicated information there into consequential and practical assemblies. One way to shift stored memory in STM to LTM is by chunking or processing memory through simplification, cutting up, linking and clustering. Short term memory improvement is attainable as revealed by the increasing knowledge about memory in general. Memory can be improved by using it more through brain training games and supplementing the brain with nutrients it needs from brain supplements and foods. Memory techniques and tools are also available to further enhance the movement of information from STM to LTM like mnemonic. Mnemonic is a memory-enhancing tool that requires coding of information stored in STM for fast recall.

So, to remember more, use these techniques so that cramming for an exam will just need to be forgotten.