Short Term Memory
Jotting Down That Number In Your Brain
We have all repeated a phone number in our heads until we punch it into a phone. We may have even said the number out loud as we mentally carry the digits for a brief period of time. Once we successfully transfer the number to the phone the information, and the memory, is gone. If you have ever stopped to ask for directions, you have used your short term memory to carry out the sequence of directions. Passing on a message, using a recipe, finding a specific book in the library are examples of how we use short term memory every day. By rehearsing, or saying the numbers to ourselves, we extend the length of time that we can hold the information in our short term memory. Strictly speaking, short term memory is defined by the length of time that one can hold a bit of complicated without rehearsing. Short term memories are held for a matter of seconds.
How Much Short Term Storage?
The duration of the memory is limited, but also the amount of information that can be stored (and successfully recalled). Humans can store about seven numbers, six letters or five short words in short term memory at any one time. Memory for words depends on the length of the words and curiously, the amount of time required to say the word out loud is more important than the number of letters in the word. These amounts are the average for college students (as this seems to be the groups traditionally studied in psychological experiments) and can vary based on age and individual aptitudes.
The way that memory is defined and studied varies widely. Neuropsychologists have various theories and definitions to explain different domains of memory, what parts of the brain are used in each domain and the capacity of each type. The study of memory can get quite complex very quickly; however, some concepts about memory are intuitive and common to the human experience. For example, we all know that there is some inherent difference between long and short term memory. I can remember the name of my third grade teacher but I cannot recall what I had for dinner on the third of last month. There is obviously some difference between the way that we remember some things as opposed to others. Why we form long term memories with some information and not others is straightforward in some respects and puzzling in others. Presumably we place information that is important to us into long term storage but “erase” that information which is not useful or we do not need to remember. We were told it was useful to remember our multiplication tables as children so we committed them to long term memory. Yet the level of importance does not explain how some short term memories become long term memories. For example, knowing the number of stairs in The Washington Monument is of absolutely no consequence yet some can regurgitate useless facts such as these at will.
Exercise Your Memory
You can expand the capacity of your short term memory to a certain degree by using it. Challenge yourself by storing as much information in your short term memory as you can. Avoid rehearsing as much as possible. By expending the capacity of your short term memory it will be ready to serve you when the need arises.
Looking To Improve Your Memory?
Improved memory can help you in many facets of your life. Having greater and quicker recall will give you an incredible advantage at school and at work. If you are looking for that advantage through increased memory there are three systems that I would highly encourage you to look at:
- The Mammoth Memory Course - This is actually three courses in one. Mammoth memory teaches you how to increase your recall through many different techniques like 'Association' and training your sensory memory. Mammoth memory actually comes with 2 other courses FREE, Power Thinking and Lazy Learning, which give you practical tools to increase your cognitive skills and absorption. Check out their free preview!
- Infinite Memory - Another extensive offering that includes loads of bonus material. At the core Infinite memory teaches you how to train your brain to remember using 5 central techniques or 'systems'; Link, Room, Alphabet, Phonetic and Body. Ryan Cameron, the author, believes (as do I) that the brain a;ready has the ability and capacity to be an incredible recall machine, it's simply a matter of re-asserting that ability. Take a look, and notice all the bonus material, it's a great value!
- Memory Improvement - This is a combination of books and software. It was designed to get results in with the minimal of time investment, 5 minutes a day. But of course, there is no free lunch. You need to be extremely consistent with your training. This resource centers around 12 memory techniques and is bundled with the classic Roth Memory Course, among many other bonuses.
If you are serious about increasing your memory power take a serious look at these courses. They all are RISK FREE and feature MONEY BACK GUARANTEES. If they don't work for you, let the sellers know and they'll refund your money! You really have nothing to lose.. but your memory!
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