What Is Memory?


The term memory comes from the Latin memory and is understood as the ability or faculty to retain and remember information from the past. Being a term used in various subjects and disciplines, the most precise definitions arise in particular areas.

From psychology and medicine, there is a similar conception of the term memory, since in both cases it is understood as the mental faculty that allows us to recognize, store and evoke feelings, ideas, images, among other experiences. It also allows us to recognize them as our own. Different types of memories are listed; some of them are.

Memory in relation to time

  • Long-term memory.  This memory refers to data or information that can be retained for many years. Some examples could be the address of the house where you lived in childhood, the birthday of a family member or friend, etc.
  • Short-term memory. In this case, the data and information receives a sensory analysis but is retained for short periods.
  • Immediate memory. This type of memory allows an analysis of the information that has been captured by the senses in a very fast way.

Sensory memory

This type of memory includes those memories that were captured through the senses. These, in turn, can be classified into:

  • Taste memory.  The memory that relates to tastes and tastes, for example of food. It is one of the least developed memories by human beings. However, wine tasters, for example, do use it constantly to make comparisons.
  • Visual memory.  It is the one that allows you to register those things that have been captured through the sense of sight. Thanks to this type of memory, it is possible to remember, for example, people’s faces or remember what is read.
  • Auditory memory.  The memory that allows us to remember what we hear is considered the most important since speech is owed to it. It also allows us to store other sounds, such as noise, songs, tones, among others.
  • Touch memory.  It is one that allows the textures or surfaces of objects to be recognized.
  • Olfactory memory.  It allows us to remember and recognize aromas, for example, the aroma of a food or a flower.

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Why is memory important?

Memory is a fundamental element in people’s lives in different aspects:

  • Firstly, it allows us to access an identity thanks to the recognition of lived experiences.
  • On the other hand, it is very important in the process of socialization as we can recognize not only ourselves but also those around us.
  • Furthermore, the concept of memory is closely linked to that of learning. Although many specialists recognize them as two independent processes, memory is a very useful tool for learning.

Memory in Computing

RAM is characterized by being temporary.

From the field of computing and computing, the term memory can be related to storage. But it also refers to all those components of a computer that allow retaining limited information for a certain period.

There are different levels of memory, and it can be classified in different ways, one of them distinguishes RAM from ROM.

  • RAM. Also known under the name of random memory, it is the one that the computer uses to read the information at the time the program is used, and it also allows saving the results of the activities carried out by that same program. This memory is characterized by being temporary since once the computer is turned off, this information disappears.
  • ROM memory. It does not allow to be modified; that is why it is also called read-only memory. This memory is placed in the computer at the moment of its manufacture and is extremely important for the computer to function. This is because it has guidelines so that the different elements of the computer can function from the moment it is turned on until it is turned off. As can be interpreted, this memory does not disappear when it stops supplying power as in the case of RAM.

It is also common to hear about the term cache memory. In this case, reference is made to a memory that is hidden from the user, which acts automatically and is characterized by its temporality. This type of memory allows the user to access the data that is used most frequently quickly or that can be predicted for purely logical reasons.

Alex Marshall

Alex Marshall

My responsibilities include interacting with the Board of Directors, data entry, accounts payable, payroll, grant report entry, managing the organization's HR, helping and creating organizational and program budgets in collaboration with the ED and Program Direct, and other misc. tasks.

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