The storage in sensory memory and short-term memory generally have a strictly limited capacity and duration, which means that information is not retained indefinitely. By contrast, long-term memory can store much larger quantities of information for potentially unlimited duration (sometimes a whole life span). Its capacity is immeasurably large. For example, given a random seven-digit number we may remember it for only a few seconds before forgetting, suggesting it was stored in our short-term memory. On the other hand, we can remember telephone numbers for many years through repetition; this information is said to be stored in long-term memory.
While short-term memory encodes information acoustically, long-term memory encodes it semantically: Baddeley (1966) discovered that after 20 minutes, test subjects had the most difficulty recalling a collection of words that had similar meanings (e.g. big, large, great, huge) long-term. Another part of long-term memory is episodic memory "which attempts to capture information such as “what”, “when” and “where”. With episodic memory individuals are able to recall specific events such as birthday parties and weddings.
Short-term memory is supported by transient patterns of neuronal communication, dependent on regions of the frontal lobe (especially dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) and the parietal lobe. Long-term memories, on the other hand, are maintained by more stable and permanent changes in neural connections widely spread throughout the brain. The hippocampus is essential (for learning new information) to the consolidation of information from short-term to long-term memory, although it does not seem to store information itself. Without the hippocampus, new memories are unable to be stored into long-term memory, as learned from HM after removal of his hippocampus, and there will be a very short attention span. Furthermore, it may be involved in changing neural connections for a period of three months or more after the initial learning. One of the primary functions of sleep is thought to be improving consolidation of information, as several studies have demonstrated that memory depends on getting sufficient sleep between training and test. Additionally, data obtained from neuroimaging studies have shown activation patterns in the sleeping brain which mirror those recorded during the learning of tasks from the previous day, suggesting that new memories may be solidified through such rehearsal.
Research has suggested that long-term memory storage in humans may be maintained by DNA methylation, or prions
Read more about this topic: Memory
Other articles related to "memory":
... In contrast to the short-term memory, long-term memory refers to the ability to hold information for a prolonged period of time ... The Atkinson-Shiffrin Model of Memory (Atkinson 1968) suggests that the item stored in short-term memory moves to Long-Term Memory through repeated practice and use ... suggesting limited capacity for short-term memory, suggested that the capacity of long-term memory is much greater than that of short-term memory such have led ...
... Recall of the organized information from long-term memory had a negative effect on the following item recalled ... In long-term memory, Smith suggests that Output Interference has effects on extra-core material, which is represented as contextual information, rather than core ...
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... An alternative theory is that there is only one memory store with associations among items and their contexts ...
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