How many types of Memory are in the Brain?

krishna-agrawala | Student

Memory is the ability of brain to store and recall something that has been learnt, sensed or experienced. There are three types of memories.

  1. Sensory memory
  2. Short-term memory
  3. Long-term memory

Sensory  memory stores data or information only for a fraction of second. For example, when we see a picture, its image remains in the brain for less than 1/12th of a seconds. After this the picture is not retained in memory unless transferred to short-term memory.

Short-term memory is retained in the brain as long a you remember about it. For example, when you try to copy something from a book, you read a few words and remember these till you have copied this down. This type of memory may last for a period of about 20 seconds, unless a person repeats the facts to himself. Also facts may be transferred from short-term memory to long term memory.

Long-term memory can last much longer and may last up to a lifetime. Information enters from short-term memory. What information is thus transferred depends on repetition and intensity of emotions associated with the information.

vinson | Student


Memory can be classified into different types namely:

1. Sensory memory

2. Primary memory

3. Secondary memory.

1. Sensory memory

This is the ability to retain sensory signals in the sensory areas of brain.

The sensory signals are retained only for a short period after the actual

sensory experience i.e. few hundred milliseconds. But, the signals can be

replaced by new sensory signals in less than one second.

This is the initial stage of memory.

2. Primary memory

It is the memory of facts, words, numbers, letters or other information

received for a few seconds to few minutes at a time. For example, after

searching for a telephone number in the directory, we remember the number

for a short while. After appreciating a beautiful scenery, the details could be

recalled for sometime or days. Afterwards it disappears from the memory.

The characteristic feature of this type of memory is that the information is

available for recall easily from memory store itself. One need not search or

squeeze through the mind and, this memory can be easily replaced by new

bits of memory i.e.. by looking into another telephone number, the first one

might disappear.

3. Secondary Memory

This is the storage of information in the brain for a longer period. The

information could be recalled after hours, days, months or years. This is also

called fixed memory or permanent memory.

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