Types of Memory - General Psychology

Types of memory

The memory that acts on the time needed to solve the current task is called operational.

For example, the air traffic controller of an airport must remember the numbers of flights and airplanes in the airspace of its responsibility, their position in space before landing or leaving for their course, etc. The waiter in the cafe is obliged to remember the customers' order and the amount they have to pay for dinner, which was elegantly confirmed by K. Levine. According to the story of B. V. Zeigarnik, Professor K. Levin, while with the students at the cafe, called the waiter and asked to say that they had ordered a couple who had just left the cafe and walked along the street. The waiter was embarrassed and said that he did not remember this. Then K. Levin asked, and what people ordered at the table in the corner. The waiter without hesitation listed their order. Just as simple, he listed orders from two tables.

Remembering the order was a subtask and subjective link of the waiter's activities, and this subtask for him ended when the customer paid for lunch and left. RAM was getting rid of unnecessary information, though, if nothing happened. Difficult, often near-accident cases the airport controller remembers all the time, as long as this case is emotionally re-experienced and again he mentally returns to the decision that he made in that situation.

So historically, in psychology, most of the work on the study of human memory is performed under conditions of either artificial or poorly modeling the real conditions of people's lives. Most often, the subjects are tasked with deliberately memorizing some materials that are not related to their needs, and therefore, to human activities. The given mnestic task must be solved through a special mnemic (mnemonic) action, not included in any activity of the subject, which excludes the work of memory as a link (moment) of activity and makes memorizing an arbitrary mnestic action. In this sense, for a person such a task is almost meaningless, the basis for its solution is either payment for the hour of participation in the experiments, or a special relationship with the researcher. As a result, we get knowledge not about memory as such, but about the features of performing this arbitrary mnestic action, as a rule, having no vital meaning for the subject, i.e. about the solution of a given mnestic problem.

The exception was the work of F. Bartlett, who analyzed the memory of a person in real life conditions (in particular, in labor activity). This idea was supported in the 1970s. group of scientists, but, for lack of time and taking into account the nature of our tasks, we will not dwell on this.

Further, as promised, we will consider available classifications of types or types of memory (terminology here is not settled).

You can select, as we already did, natural and social memory (person). This raises the problem of what to call a social memory? Memory within social activities should also function according to the rules of the "moment" activities. Actions are social, and memory must function in it according to the rules of natural memory as a subjective component of activity.

It's unclear what becomes with memory the personal events that occur with a person as a social being and personality: does it become social or remains the same as memory for events in animals?

It is easy to agree with the proposition that human memory has become a higher mental function (VFR), and in this its fundamental difference from natural memory, or, as Vygotsky said, natural memory. But we understand that the VPF is a solution of an independent task through a special action with internal and external links, the success of which depends on many factors: motivation, memory ability, means used for memorization, possession of funds, etc.

It's one thing to try to memorize something only through memory as a mental process, another is to use some signs for memorization and reproduction, the third is to record events or information, and the fourth is to record a message to the recorder. Listening or reading the recorded text is a reproduction of what was, i.e. formally this is the work of memory, but really it is a special action that ensures the reproduction of information at the right time through the process of listening to the text (or reading records). This external memory (recording) can be lost or forgotten at home, and then a successful playback will result - in natural memory, only the fact of having such a record is saved. It is clear that man has learned to solve the problems of the natural psyche in other ways, how he learned to move around in space, using not only walking or running, but also driving a car.

The conclusion from the above is one: we must distinguish between the work of memory as a mental process and the decision of a person to reproduce information through his specific behavior. The results will be the same, but the processes for obtaining them are different.

Another fundamental classification is the allocation of procedural and declarative (which can be said to be ) of memory, differing in both the nature of awareness and functions , and, apparently, by the mechanisms. A hint for highlighting such types of memory was Bergson's idea of ​​memory of the body and memory of the spirit. But the clue did not work, and these types of memory were allocated based on materials from experimental studies of human memory.

Procedural memory provides not the reproduction of information, but the participation of past experience in the regulation of current activities and, first of all, in retaining the skills to do something, including carrying out conditioned reflexes (some authors include here and innate reactions: reflexes, instincts , tropisms, taxis - which is hardly justified).

Declarative memory (mostly semantic) ensures the preservation and reproduction of learned information (knowledge, verses) at the right time (by order or by circumstances).

These two types of memory are represented differently in the mind of a person. For example, often a typist can not play from memory the location of a particular letter on the computer keyboard, but at the same time quickly and accurately prints texts with this letter.

B. V. Zeigarnik gives an example of a patient who was taught to press the lever when a green light was lit. Cited on the second day in the same laboratory room, the patient denied the fact that he was here ever, but when they started to light a green light bulb, he began to press the lever, as he was taught yesterday.

In similar studies, patients with amnesia were taught to read mirror-inverted text. This ability was preserved for them during the year, while the patients did not recognize the laboratory where the training took place.

It is clear that if you lose memory for events and information about the place in patients, the acquired skills are well preserved, which indicates a special memory process while retaining skills (procedural memory).

With the task of translating text from a foreign language, two groups of subjects differed markedly in the quality of the translation. More mistakes were made by those translators who studied a foreign language in a traditional way, by studying the rules of its construction. And people who learned the language in the natural language environment, through communication with native speakers of the language, made fewer mistakes. That is, some subjects were focused on the reproduction of rules (declarative memory), while others received skills in the proper use of language (procedural memory).

There is evidence that procedural and declarative memory is differently violated in various diseases: Parkinson's disease mostly suffers from procedural memory, and in Alzheimer's disease it is declarative. There is also evidence that procedural memory appears in ontogeny earlier than declarative memory. And this is quite logical, since to preserve the past experience of its activity and use it in new behavior is necessary from the first days of life. It has already been said that procedural memory is involuntary and can be considered a natural memory.

A number of researchers identify implicit and explicit memory, which largely coincide with procedural and declarative and with natural and social memory.

Perhaps, to the procedural memory, it is necessary to relate emotional memory.

In this chapter, the terms involuntary and arbitrary are used several times, which differ in the degree of controllability, intentness and awareness.

For the use of tools in memory and playback, there are immediate and mediated (indirect) memory.

For the duration of memorization, short-term and long-term are allocated. Short-term memory can also include memory, which stores information for the period of the person's decision of the problem, as already mentioned earlier.

In the second half of XX century. began to allocate sensory memory, meaning by this the ability of the nervous system to retain some time (a few seconds) traces of sensory effects on the receptors (sensory register). For individual modalities, allocate tonic memory (in the visual analyzer), echo memory memory (in the auditory analyzer). Traces in the analyzers of other modalities have not yet received their name.

In the literature, there are cases of a stable imaginative memory similar to a sensory but continuing for a long time in the form of eidetic images on visual images, sounds and words, musical melodies, numbers, smells and flavoring sensations.

Recall the classification of memory types, which are distinguished by the nature of the analyzer. This shaped memory of various modalities (visual, auditory, tactile, tasteful, olfactory, temperature, memory "in the drawing" movements - motor image, etc.). In auditory memory, verbal memory is allocated as a manifestation of semantic memory.

As a special kind of memory, the motor or motor memory is allocated - the ability to do something, keeping the motor skill (skill).

Highlight the emotional memory on events, objects and other subjects in a special series.

Visual and emotional memory is opposed logical memory.

Finally, it is namyat on the events of one's own life, which in the study of human memory is called autobiographical memory.

Given the nature of the tasks solved in this chapter, we will not consider the patterns of memory and the mechanisms for preserving and reproducing information. We note only the active nature of memory as a mental process. Memory begins not with storage, but with the evaluation of events and the selection of what should be stored for the period of solving the current task and what needs to be saved for future behavior (a new experience). This selection is evidence that the process of preserving the necessary past experience (memory) is provided by the integral work of the psyche (perception, thinking, attention, emotions). And the reproduction of the images of the past is not the extraction of them from the repository, but the process of restoring images and knowledge of the activated neurophysiological tracks (codes). This reconstruction proceeds through testing of the mnemonic hypotheses, which allows mistakes in deciding the image of the past, especially with various "hints" from other people about what happened.

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