Memory - Short-term Memory

Short-term Memory

Short-term memory allows recall for a period of several seconds to a minute without rehearsal. Its capacity is also very limited: George A. Miller (1956), when working at Bell Laboratories, conducted experiments showing that the store of short-term memory was 7±2 items (the title of his famous paper, "The magical number 7±2"). Modern estimates of the capacity of short-term memory are lower, typically of the order of 4–5 items, however, memory capacity can be increased through a process called chunking. For example, in recalling a ten-digit telephone number, a person could chunk the digits into three groups: first, the area code (such as 123), then a three-digit chunk (456) and lastly a four-digit chunk (7890). This method of remembering telephone numbers is far more effective than attempting to remember a string of 10 digits; this is because we are able to chunk the information into meaningful groups of numbers. This may be reflected in some countries in the tendency to display telephone numbers as several chunks of three numbers, with the final four-number group generally broken down into two groups of two.

Short-term memory is believed to rely mostly on an acoustic code for storing information, and to a lesser extent a visual code. Conrad (1964) found that test subjects had more difficulty recalling collections of letters that were acoustically similar (e.g. E, P, D). Confusion with recalling acoustically similar letters rather than visually similar letters implies that the letters were encoded acoustically. Conrad's (1964) study however, deals with the encoding of written text, thus while memory of written language may rely on acoustic components, generalisations to all forms of memory cannot be made.

Read more about this topic:  Memory

Other articles related to "memory":

Storage (memory) - Types of Memory Storage - Short-term Memory
... The short-term memory refers to the ability to hold information from immediate past for a short duration of time ... to the Atkinson-Shiffrin Model of Memory, in the process of Encoding, perceived memory enters the brain and can be quickly forgotten if the sensory information is ... The information is readily accessible in the short-term memory for only a short time ...
Effect Of Caffeine On Memory - Short-term Memory - Time-of-day Effects
... Short-term memory has been thought to be influenced differently throughout the day when caffeine has been ingested in the morning, STM performance will be different than at the end of the day ... but do not conclusively determine that caffeine impairs or improves short-term memory compared to a control group ...
Capacity of Short-term Memory - Factors Affecting Short-term Memory
... It is very difficult to demonstrate the exact capacity of short-term memory (STM) because it will vary depending on the nature of the material to be recalled ... capacity of STM can be affected by the following Influence of long-term memory, Reading aloud, Pronunciation time and Individual differences ...

Famous quotes containing the words memory, short-term:

    Mild brown eyes beckon me to the past, but memory provides no clue.
    Mason Cooley (b. 1927)

    I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.
    Tom Stoppard (b. 1937)