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Memory - The collective name memorization processes (recording information), storage (archiving), playback, recognition and forgetting. In other words, memory - a way of organizing the past experiences of the subject, the underlying capabilities of its further use. Integrity of the human person the opportunity to study, purposeful activity, communication associated with memory.

Psychological theories of memory

In psychology, there is no single approach to understanding the mechanisms of memory. You can select proper psychological theory of memory, physiological and biochemical theory of memory theory of memory.

Associative themes

Representatives of this trend believe that the basis of the mechanisms of memory are associations - communication occurring between two (or more) simultaneously or one after the other following impressions under which updated one of them implies the emergence of another (or others). Ie remembering the event, we write memory structures visual image, sound, smells, their emotional reactions to perceived, motor response, concepts, accompanying perception. Later, when you update the at least one part of this structure, we are reminded by association many other details of the event. Proponents of these theories are three groups of associations:

  • on spatio-temporal contiguity (went to the theater and met his friend);
  • by similarity (table-chair);
  • contrast (boy - girl).

The principle of association firmly entrenched in psychology, but various psychological schools differently explained mechanisms of association.

Gestalt psychology

Gestalt psychologists in the center of his theory of memory put the concept of gestalt (German - Image) - the entire structure, not reducible to the sum of its parts, which is inherent law (gestalt) organizes variety of remembered details of the phenomenon. Recall in this case is the necessity whole gestalt entirely in the diversity of its parts.

Psychology activities

Representatives of this trend (S. Rubinstein, Leontiev) consider the activity of the individual factors determining its entire mental life. According to this concept, the effectiveness depends on the memory of the place takes a memorable event in the activities of the entity, ie depends not on the event itself, but from the fact that it makes the subject.


Representatives of this theory (Pavlov, PK Anokhin and others) consider the basis of memory conditioned reflex as an act of forming a connection between the new and previously fixed material. Persistence conditional reflex connections depends on the performance targets and related incentives.

Physical theory of memory

This theory is based on the assumption that any passage of a nerve impulse through a specific group of neurons leaves a certain trace, which becomes even more significant when re-pulse on the same way.

Biochemical theory of memory

From the point of view of the theory of this process is divided into two memory phase. In the first phase in the nerve cells occurs short electrochemical reaction that causes reversible changes in them. It is believed that this step forms the basis of short term memory. The second phase occurs immediately after the first. During the second phase in the cells are irreversible changes which underpin the long-term memory.

Himicheekaya theory

According to the proponents of this theory any stimulus causes rearrangement of the molecules neuronal protein - DNA and RNA in increasing their RNA content, which is known, is a developmental basis memory. At repeated stimulus RNA resonates familiar signal and it is the basis of memory.

Apparently, the most correct explanation given this diversity of mechanisms of memory will be an eclectic approach that combines the most proven in experiments data on the brain and mental processes that form the basis of memory.

Types of memory

Classification of the different types of memory adopted on three grounds: the duration of storage, the nature of mental activity, the degree of volitional control, the nature of memory and storage.

For the duration of storage is allocated:

  • sensory memory - a primitive process carried out at the receptor level and preserving information for 1/4 of a second, during which time the reticular formation assesses the degree of novelty of the stimulus and decide on whether to activate the cerebral cortex to react to this stimulus. If this does not happen, the momentum is lost and the touch department is the new signals.
  • short-term memory, the duration of storage in which data for various research groups have from 20 seconds to several minutes. According to most researchers, if not repeat the information, it is erased, ie it is impossible to reproduce. Short-term memory capacity is 5-7 units of information (ie, we are able to memorize a series of 5-7 words after a single reading), but, interestingly, the brain is able to classify large volumes of information so that the resulting meet this number (eg, of the ten words - elephant, desk, window, apple, moon, sea, car, dad, gun, dragon remembered, if the brain includes this information as follows: elephant who climbed on the table and looking out the window (1 unit of information ), the moon over the sea (second), the vehicle in which the father goes with a gun chasing a dragon (the third one).
  • long-term memory in which information depending on the importance and frequency of use of stored-minute years. Long-term memory capacity is practically unlimited.

By the nature of mental activity is isolated:

  • motor (or motor) memory - memory for movement ever memorized: writing, playing musical instruments, etc.;
  • emotional - memory for emotions that we have experienced in a given situation;
  • shaped memory - memory for different images (ideas), which is usually well developed in humans artistic professions.

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