In order to improve our memories, we must first have a solid understanding of how memory works.
In the first part of this series, we’ll look at the three basic steps that occur in the memory process.
Encoding – The method of converting information into a structure that can be entered into and preserved by the memory system. For example, in order to remember a name written on a piece of paper, you would encode the patterns of lines as letters that fit together to form a name that could be stored in your memory.
Storage – The process of preserving information in memory so that it can be used later.
Retrieval – The act of reacquiring stored information and being consciously aware of it.
This three stage model is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding how our memory works. Next week, we will be looking more deeply into the different kinds of memory and how our brains process each one.