Your ability to recall information stored in your brain is your memory. This facility is a very necessary function of your mind. Much like a computer, the brain takes in several data, stores it, and is able to retrieve this information whenever it is necessary. The memory’s contribution to the process of evolution is quite considerable. Aside from that, it performs a very significant role on your method of learning and acclimatizing yourself to your environment. It is right to say then that your ability to recall sums up your process of learning and is interconnected with this process. If there is an absence of either, evolution, new information, and even civilization itself would not be able to exist. There are several types of memory, each unique from the other. If you feel that you have lapses of forgetfulness, it would be good to learn about these memory types and find out how you can improve on them. Knowing what they are will help you identify which memory type you are and how you can continue to keep it in better shape.
- Sensory Memory. This type of memory is the first process of keeping certain information in the brain that you distinguish through your senses. A memory of this nature does not really last too long as it is continuously replaced. This is simply because your senses do not cease to work. Each of your senses also has their own type of memory performing their own basic function. The iconic type of sensory memory is one wherein your mind takes in fresh information such as when reading, and is quickly replaced as you read on. A second is all it takes for this memory to be substituted with another new one. The echoic type of sensory memory makes use of your sense of hearing and may last a little longer than the iconic type.
- Short Term or Working Memory. The reason it is called this way is because this is the type of memory wherein the information stored in your mind stays there for a short time period. If you acquire a new phone number, you would try to repeat it over and over so as not to forget but some type of distraction could erase that completely. The capacity of short term memory is quite limited. It has been studied that people who are capable of making this type of memory is closely related to your intelligence. If you are higher in your capability with this type of memory, you are considered to be an intellectual type of person.
- Long Term Memory. This particular type of memory is far more complex than the sensory and short term ones. This is your capability to store your information and keep it in your mind for a long time, even so far as a lifetime. This type of memory has three unique systems under it. The episodic system of long term memory works around the time and the place that events happen. These are the episodes of your life that leave imprints on your mind. The semantic system refers to information based on factual events such as the world is round. This type of long term memory does not depend on any specific time and place. The procedural system is the area that takes care of your skills such driving, which are all acquired through a process of learning. Once this knowledge is acquired, you go through the motions like it is second nature to you. In order to fully take advantage of this system, it requires constant practice until your mind has become fully accustomed to it.
It is perfectly normal to forget some things sometimes. Memory lapses do happen especially as one ages. However, you must also take necessary steps when these lapses go toward the extreme as it could be signs of a much more serious problem.