Types of memory and their characteristics

Types of memory and their characteristics

Any events, experiences, impressions leave informative traces in the subcortical structure of the human brain. The imprint can persist for a long time and reproduced by an individual at the right time. Consider the classification of the main types of human memory.

Arbitrary and involuntary memory

The highest level of the thought process makes it possible to accumulate, store and mentally reproduce a large amount of knowledge and skills acquired for a long time. In psychology, there are some types of human memory by nature with the aim of operation. The arbitrary or obstacle of memorization is due to certain conditions: by chance or intentionally, the person learned some information.

Involuntary memorization occurs automatically. It does not require any special efforts from the subject. The brain itself fixes some of the data perceived. Individual does not put a goal to remember them, but the information remains in the head. Passive action is inextricably linked with hobbies, professional interests of the individual.

Information not included in the zone of purposeful activities are usually forgotten.

Arbitrary memory requires some volitional efforts from a person for conscious capture and playback of information. The individual needs to be immersed in the subject. The quality of fixing in the head of events and facts depends on the depth of the material. In this way, personality preparations for exams, remembers the formulas and poems. Purposeful deduction in the head of the masterful material is a special and complex thought process.

According to the degree of awareness of memorized information, there are two types.

Reproduction of the necessary information by a strong force of the individual is referred to as explicit memory. The subject consciously and purposefully holds the accumulated experience in the head. If necessary, the person may remove the rules from the depths of the brain once the rules, foreign words, dates and other events.

The characteristic of the implicit memory is reduced to the restoration of information using indirect methods. Human brain is able to store all perceived events. A bright example is a set of texts on a computer: the fingers themselves know where the keys are located. Until the subject began to print, he does not remember the layout of the keyboard. He has no conscious access to this knowledge.

It is believed that the implicit memory has the effect of precedence and affects the subsequent consolidation of new information.

Mental activity classification

Specific features of human memory are that it participates in mental processes. Individual is able to dream, combine concepts or images. Person has imagination and emotions. People happen very hard to forget unpleasant memories. Psychic properties of the individual contribute to the reproduction of individual experiences of past events.

Human brain remembers the essence with reference to the context.

For mental recovery of facts and information, the subject need to revive all memories, remember the necessary associations and the situation of times of occurring actions.

A person can restore the long-lasting events distorted. In contrast, the computer reproduces the data made very accurately. File system does not make mistakes electronics. Differences in the processing of information in humans and energy-dependent devices are observed in the fact that the electronics encodes information using the processor, and the person transmits data on nerve cells.

People have a confusion in the head. They need to look for among many flare thoughts one belonging to the desired topic. The brain does not keep anything in the finished form. Unlike human memory, energy-dependent storage devices can save the contents only if there is a supply voltage.

The process of retention of informative traces in the head of the subject is influenced by individual personality features.

In case of conditional division on major varieties in the nature of mental activity, psychologists take into account receptors and analyzers participating in perception, processing and maintaining the data obtained.


Act of memorization is performed by perceiving images through some sensory systems. Playback is carried out in the form of representations. Subject remembers images of nature, life phenomena, sounds, smells, taste. The individual is able to restore in memory the missing object by imprinted in the head, to characterize it in detail. It can imagine the smell and taste just cooked kebab, aroma of tea rose, Tel Solovya.

Often saved in images information dispels with the original.


Baby is endowed with conventional motor reflexes that gradually develop into engine memory. She begins to form at the kid in the first months of life. Holding the head, crawling, first steps are mastered by means of motor remembrance. In the future, fixation and reproduction of motor operations takes a conscious character. The child learns to dress, wash, clean your teeth, keep a spoon, cut the nails, lay the bed, hairstyle. Among these actions is walking, running and letter. Memorable movements form the main base of labor skills and practical motor operations. Young specialists gradually master professional skills. Moves with time are brought to automatism. This type of memorization is very important for athletes and dancers.


The most reliable and solid storage of any information is the archive of memory formed on the basis of various feelings: joy, chagrin, fear. It can be resentment, which cannot be forgotten, or shame for your own actions. Survived and saved emotions act as signals that encourage actions or retaining them. By the end of the first year of life, this type of memorization is pronounced in children. A child can laugh or praise, having seen a joy of the thing or the subject of his suffering. The subject may find some events read books, viewed movies, and impressions and feelings remain in the brain storage. Fragments enshrined in brain structures can be played in the smallest detail instantly as bright photo posts. This type of memorization has a huge impact on personality. Empathy and sympathy for people is based on emotional memory.


The basis of this variety of memory is the words and thoughts. These two concepts are interconnected: words arise as a result of reflection, and thoughts are embodied using various language forms. The main meaning of the material obtained as a result of the thought process is transmitted in a literal verbule. The form of information is depends on the understanding of the text, on the ability to find important and secondary parts, on the level of speech development.

Ability to memorize the words represented by words affects the formation of a person.

Types by memorization method

Depending on the participation in the mental process, psychologists allocate two subspecies of memory characterized by the presence or absence of reflection when fixing the desired material.


A prerequisite for meaningful memorization is an understanding. Between the digestible objects or phenomena need semantic ligaments. They constitute the basis of logical memory. It is desirable to split all the information on the components, come up with headlines or allocate the support points that the material content is associated with. We need to mentally tie headers with each reference point, create associative rows. One of the techniques of logical memorization is a comparison. First, it is necessary to identify bright differences, and then you can pay attention to less noticeable distinctive features. The semantic memorization is based on a clear understanding of the logical chains of the material being stored, so it is perfectly ordered and fixed in the head.


Multiple repetition of information without deep reflection of the content leads to mechanical memorization. The kids are easier to zubriving than adults who have the ability to catch the main meaning. Children are difficult to put out the main parts of the information. Usually they are focused on the details. Students on the exam-learned mechanical material can reproduce, but explain the specific concepts find it difficult. Mechanical fixation of information occurs without establishing and aware of logical communication between text fragments. Intentional notification without understanding the information is inefficient, as it does not allow knowledge to break through from the operational storage in a long-term archive.

Description of the duration of storage

For the duration of consolidation and preservation of information traces, memory is divided into 3 main varieties:

  • Sensory memory produces a lightning retention of a just received image or phenomenon by the senses, which holds about half a second, then significant information is sent to the short-term storage, the remaining traces are erased+

  • Short-term memory recycles the material obtained from the instantaneous imprint over 20-25 seconds, after which it sends it to long-term storage or displaces from short-term storage+

  • Long-term memory can maintain any information in terms of volume unlimited time, reproduce it repeatedly without any loss until the end of the human life.

Thus, the mechanism of fixing in the head of information consists of three levels. First, the touch register is activated, then the information is sent to the short-term storage and from there is placed for a long time in the archive. Consider in detail these stages.

The primary stage of processing new information occurs on the sensory level. Instant printings Slight time remain on the peripheral areas of analyzers. This level is characterized by convention. Only physical signs are held in the head without any encoding. Most of the various signals quickly destroys and fade. Old informative traces are instantly replaced by new symbols. The sensory register has a too small volume of storage, so the subject perceives the world in its continuous integrity. Otherwise, instead of a single picture, not related images would be identified. The blink would be to forget the preceding information. Sounds also consisted of separate passages.

At the short-term preservation stage, perceived information is emotionally experienced, reconstructed. Coding occurs on the visual and acoustic levels. At this point, irrelevant data takes place, so random and unnecessary information do not overload the brain. After losing some kind of material share of the material, the remaining part of the successfully encoded information is placed on long-term storage in the archive.

The following processes are based on long-term memory: knowledge coding, archiving and extraction. The quality of encryption information depends on activity and meaningfulness. Coding occurs at the semantic level. In awareness of the goal and motivation, certain emotions and active imagination are included. An important factors for maintaining the desired level of information are the analysis and structuring of the knowledgeable knowledge, the search and allocation of basic thoughts, the establishment of logical chains between text fragments, building associative rows, as well as repetition of the material. Reliable archive retains perceived information separated by many headings and decomposed.

Between short-term and long-term memorization there is an intermediate link in the form of RAM. The operational storage of the material occurs during a certain time from a few minutes to a number of days, depending on the specific task assigned: A person may be required to keep intermediate information in the head. For example, to perform an arithmetic action, the necessary numbers must be remembered for several minutes, and to implement some project, the necessary parameters should be kept in the head for a week or even a month. Then the displacement of unnecessary facts occurs in order to release the place for new source data.

What is the memory of the leading analyzer?

The most active participation in the process of memorization is played by the senses.


It is no coincidence that there is a saying: it is better to see once than hear a hundred times. Individual is able to memorize and reproduce a visual image: Faces of familiar people, the covers of favorite books, specific fragments of texts. The imprint remains in the imagination for a long time after the end of the influence of a perceived picture on the senses. This type of memory is necessary to artists and engineers. It is based on the process of memorization and recovery of information.


This type of adhelation of informative traces helps a person to memorize speech and musical sounds. The subject that quickly and accurately records and reproduces a variety of sounds, is able to perceive and remember the large volume of the heard information: The noise of the sea surf, the troll of the nightingale, the rocution of the jet aircraft, the voice of the beloved person, the sound of a musical work. Such a feature is usually inherent in musicians, acoustics and synchronist translators.


There is a memory for touches. It allows a person to keep information about the external world. Some people with a touch of some kind of subject can reproduce the event in the smallest items that occurred many years ago. Rough Cover Books, Gentle Mother Hand, Soft Fluffy Cat, Green Leaf Body Residents Can Cause Mass of pleasant memories.

Individual with well-developed tactile memory is required to evaluate the thing not only visually, but also to the touch.


Often, flavors cause people with memories. In the imagination, paintings from past years pop up: Faces of acquaintances, furnishings of the apartment, natural phenomena, sounds and emotions. The subject with excellent olfactory memory can easily present the smoke of the fire, the smell of river coolness, fragrance of beloved fragrant water. The ability to record various odors in memory is needed by perfumes and tastors.


The activities of the taste analyzer are aimed at memorizing taste. Individual is able to feel bitterness of acute pepper, sweetness of confectionery, lemon acid. Not everyone manages to taste to recognize the ingredients present in any dish. Try some food and accurately determine from which it consists, right up to the recognition of all spices, can only a subject with well-developed taste. This is an indispensable quality for cooks and tastors.

Types of memory and their characteristics in the video below.

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