Having of the brain since it enables

Having
gone through the psychology course successfully, I have been equipped with
knowledge on various aspects of human behaviors and the scientific reasons
behind them. Subsequently, in this personal reflection paper, I will select the
topic of memory given its intrigues and interesting findings from the textbook.
Memory refers to the process of encoding, storing, and retrieving information.
It has been described as the means that enable human beings to use the
knowledge that has been acquired over time in their present situations. In this
case, the brain helps in storing information in the form of sounds, images, or
interpretation of various situations. Therefore, it is an essential function of
the brain since it enables human beings to interact appropriately based on past
encounters.

            Memory can be categorized into various types depending on
the context. For instance, sensory memory involves the ability to recognize an
object after perception. It is deemed as an automatic response that is not
controlled cognitively. George Sperling who conducted experiments to explore
the sensory memory first brought up this concept. He also explained three
subtypes of sensory memory. Iconic memory is responsible for encoding and
storing visual information, echoic memory for auditory information, and haptic
memory for touch perceptions. These types of memories explain the reason behind
the recognition of objects perceived over a short duration.

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            Memory can also be categorized into short-term and
long-term based on the timeline in which recall is allowed. Short-term memory
refers to the information that can be remembered for several seconds or minutes
without having to rehearse. The capacity for this type is limited but can be
increased through what has been described as chunking. It relies on acoustic
and visual coding. On the other hand, long-term memory stores much more
information over a longer period. The capacity is unlimited, and unlike the
short-term memory, the information is encoded semantically. It also involves
episodic memory for capturing more details of an event. The two types of memory
are supported by different regions in the brain through different patterns of
neuronal communication.

            Other categories of memory described in the textbook
include the procedural and declarative types. Procedural memory refers to the
recall on how to do something based on implicit learning. It is evident in
learning motor skills, and it is becoming perfect through repeated practice.
Subsequently, as in the example of riding a bike, the information becomes
automatic and indescribable. On the other hand, declarative memory involves
explicit storage and retrieval of information. It is further divided into
semantic and episodic types based on the principles. In this case, the episodic
memory describes events that were experienced at a particular place and time
while the semantic memory bases its information on abstract knowledge, most
often facts. Consequently, autobiographical memory for events in one’s life
could be attributed to the episodic form of memory.

            Memory is said to undergo the stages of encoding,
storage, and retrieval. On the perception of information through the sensory
system, the brain processes it into a form that can be stored in the brain. It
is encoded visually, semantically, and acoustically as pictures, sounds, or
meanings respectively. Storage is then done on different parts of the brain
according to the duration and capacity in the form of short-term or long-term
memory. The final stage is the retrieval of the information retroactively or
proactively, which depends on how it was encoded and stored. Loss of memory is
associated with disorders such as amnesia and Alzheimer’s disease, in which
some parts of the brain are damaged.

Application

Memory can be applied to
various experiences in our day-to-day lives. Most of the activities carried out
are based on what people perceive and remember. Personally, I have recognized
several ways in which memory, as described in the course book, has been
applied. Reading through the topic, I discovered the importance of memory given
that some activities done as far as when I was in the elementary grade are
fresh in mind. I can vividly describe some of my milestones and events that
have been happening in my life. The memory of such activities can only be
attributed to the long-term and short-term memory as described in chapter eight
of the course book.

In
my childhood, like every other person, I had to learn how to ride a bike.
Initially, it seemed impossible to balance, pedal, and keep a straight
direction. I fell severally before I was able to ride successfully. However,
since then, I would never have to practice again, and the process of riding
became automatic. Up to now, I can ride a bike very well despite the fact that
I have not ridden one for several years. However, I have always had a hard time
in explaining to my younger siblings the same process. They also pass through the
same stages of falling severally before mastering how to ride a bike. This
experience is related to the topic of memory and how it is encoded and stored.

 Learning how to ride a bike can be classified
as the procedural type of memory that involves implicit learning. Once the
activity is stored in the brain, it is retrieved unconsciously and translated
into appropriate motor and cognitive responses. As discussed in the textbook,
this type of memory is made through procedural learning, where one repeats the
activity severally. Consequently, the neural systems adapt to the process to
produce it automatically in the future. Given that it is a part of long-term
memory, it may take some time before being actualized, which explains the
reason why I had to be persistent before learning how to ride a bike. It is
indicated that this implicit learning helps in developing all cognitive and
motor skills.

            The acquisition of skills such as riding bikes, playing
musical instruments, and driving requires repeated practice. In addition to
repeating a task, one is required to observe a particular behavior and change
appropriately through experience. It starts with the learner identifying what
the observed skill entails and developing the interest in the cognitive phase,
which is followed by the associative phase, where the person acts repeatedly
until the skill is integrated into the mind. The autonomous phase entails
making the skill perfect by automating it and using less thought to implement
it.

Reflecting
upon how I acquired the skill of riding a bike, I have recognized the essential
aspects of retaining memory. Consequently, I have improved my studying habits
to ensure that I retain what I learn in class as much as possible. I like going
over concepts severally to ensure that they stick in the mind even long after
they are taught. Similarly, the ability to acquire skills such as riding bikes
or playing musical instruments is built on continuous practice until the brain
can automate the process. Memory is a critical aspect of psychology since it is
applicable in most aspects of life.