This passage describes different types of memory.

Lexile Level: 1140L

Categories: Sports & Health Science & Technology

The human brain utilizes three types of memory. Information first passes through sensory memory. Our sensory memory takes in the sights, sounds, tactile sensations, and odors to which we are exposed at a given moment. While one's sensory memories have an enormous capacity, items stay in sensory memory for only about one second. Thus, information is continuously flowing in and out of our sensory memories. To hold onto information for a longer period of time, we simply have to pay attention to a piece of sensory input. This moves the information from sensory memory to short-term memory. Our short-term memories have a capacity limited to about seven pieces of information at a time and have durations of about thirty seconds. We can keep information in short-term memory through repetition or rehearsal within that thirty-second period, or we can move it to long-term memory by associating it with other information already stored in long-term memory. Long-term memory is a truly remarkable mechanism, capable of holding unlimited information for an indefinite period of time.


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