What is Memory?

The Encyclopædia Brittanica states that
“ Memory is one of the most widely studied cognitive functions, and a number of different aspects of memory are recognized.

1. The labels short-term memory, primary memory, and working memory refer to the temporary storage of information that is necessary for the performance of many cognitive tasks.
In order to understand this sentence, for example, a reader must maintain the first half of the sentence in working memory while reading the second half.
This working memory has been graphically described as the memory one uses to hold a telephone number in mind after looking it up in a directory and while dialling.
The capacity of working memory is limited, and it decays if not rehearsed.

2. Long-term memory, secondary memory, and reference memory refer to the storage of information for longer periods. The capacity of long-term memory is very large--in practice unlimited--and it can endure indefinitely.

3. In addition, psychologists distinguish episodic memory, a memory of specific events or episodes normally described by the verb remember, from semantic memory, a knowledge of facts normally said to be known rather than remembered.

Almost certainly, memory is stored over wide areas of the brain rather than in any single location.”

Memory is defined as

"memory [memeRi] n. the mental faculty of retaining and recalling past experience.
(Dictionary.com)

Memory involves the ability to take in and store information and to retrieve that information for later use.

Everyday we use a number of different memory skills, to live such as:

. remembering the right word for an idea or an object we see or hear;
. associating a scent with a person or place;
. remembering events from long ago;
. remembering an appointment ;
. remembering facts learned some time ago;
. remembering information we have just learned,

and so it goes on. Our memories are are vital for living.

How can I assist my memory?

We can assist our memory through a number of measures.

Maintaining health and fitness. This includes exercise and good diet as well as relaxation. As Steven Covey states in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, we all need to "sharpen the sword" in order to be active in our day. This relates also to our minds and memory.

Being organised in a common sense manner assists our memory. Such simple measures as the use a calendar or a diary, recording birthdays in a Birthday Book.

Use Reminders and Notes
Place a card on the work-bag in the evening to ensure vital items are packed, eg lunch from the fridge.
Carry a small pocket diary to record notes, and being a Diary, it can record appointments. Maybe use a Palm Pilot PDA.

Mental exercise - crossword puzzles and games exercise the mind and our memory. Some games like chess have the ability to stimulate a range of mental activity and memory.

Memory techniques

How can I improve my memory ?

Memory, is a vital part of living.