Cognitive Psychology

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What are comparable computer systems to sensory and long-term memory?

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In order for a memory to be saved information must be inputted both into a computer and into the human brain.

For a person information is saved through experiences from our environment and are collected through our five senses. In humans most information is saved in short term memory, any information here is lost within 30 seconds. Information that needs to be saved is encoded and saved to later be retrieved is saved in long term memory. This information can be recalled at a later date when needed.

For a computer information is saved in the form of electronic data from the mouse, keyboard or other electronic source.  Information that is not needed for retrieval later is saved in the Random Access Memory (RAM).  Information within the RAM will be lost when the computer is turned off.  Information that can be retrieved later is saved on the hard disk. 

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What are comparable computer systems to short term and working memory?

Computer architecture contains elements that can be compared to short term and working memory.

The Central Processing Unit or CPU or most computers consists of a small amount of working memory (either a single accumulator or multiple registers). The computer takes instructions (from an instruction set, usually consisting of some 100 odd possible instructions) from an instruction stack which consist of fetching data into registers, storing data from registers, or performing simple operations on registers.

What we normally refer to as "computer memory" or memory chips are forms of short term memory (as opposed to disk drives and flash drives, that are long term or non-volatile memory).


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