Working Memory and Short-Term Memory: Everything You Need to Know
The brain is one of the most crucial elements of the human body, and it is often neglected and misunderstood. Working and short-term memory are often interchangeable; however, they remain a big part of everyday existence and life. It’s important to understand the differences between working and short-term memory. So, what do you need to know about them both?
Understanding the Complexity of the Working Memory
Everyone has a working memory. This is the part of the brain that focuses on comprehension and reasoning. It’s a system within the brain that processes manipulate and stores information. Every time you learn a new piece of information, the working memory captures and stores it away. Working memory has an important role within the body because it helps prefrontal and frontal cortexes function properly. It also helps the basal ganglia and anterior cingulate function.
Of course, with age, there is a decline in working memory. This typically occurs in every human body; however, it’s crucial to take steps to slow down this process or prevent it entirely. It does, however, involve working the brain. You can read, take up a new hobby, learn new skills, and just keep your brain active. You must challenge your mind to keep it working.
Understanding the Short-Term Memory
Everyone has a short-term memory. It is one of the most important elements within the working memory system. Short-term memory is often referred to as the primary or active memory as it stores data for around 30 seconds. Of course, these little snippets of information are often forgotten about. It is, however, possible to retain this information through repetition and end up in the long-term memory field.
Understanding the Difference Between Short-Term and Working Memory
Short-term and working memory are often mistaken for one another. It’s easy to see why that is, as people just assume they do the same thing. Short-term, however, holds information for just a few precious seconds, whereas working memory continues to process the information and stores it in the mind.
One great example of short-term memory is when someone dictates their phone number to you. Your mind, if sharp enough, can hold the information until you write it down. However, your working memory can learn the number every time you dial it so that it can be remembered without having to refer to a piece of paper.
Keeping the Memories Fresh
Short-term and working memory are crucial components in life. Humans need to rely on these parts of the brain to function and learn. While you might not realize how important these two things are, they surpass everything else, almost. You can store snippets of information for a few seconds with short-term memory and store other information because of working memory.
Short-term is only one part of the working memory. You can retain new pieces of information through repetition. Of course, it’s important to keep the brain active and challenge it so that it has the best possible chance to remain healthy.