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Chemistry LibreTexts

Short and Long Term Memory

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    187408
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    Short and Long Term Memory

    Amnesia

    A very popular plot in soap operas and the movies is to have a character involved in some sort of accident and wake up with amnesia-the blocking of old memories and/or the loss of the new memories. Most people with amnesia can recall events from the distant past but cannot recall recent ones. When memory returns, it always starts with the older memories first and makes its way to the present. Scientists used this knowledge to come up with the notion that we are made up of long-term. and short-term memories. All incoming material goes directly to the STM where it is processed. Then, we decide if we want to keep this information or not. Next, the material is either erased or stored into LTM.

    Long-term Memory (LTM) Memory system that retains information for hours, days, weeks, years, and lifetime

    Short-term Memory (STM) Memory system that retains information for a few seconds to a few minutes.