I see memory as being the vault in a bank; it holds all the information (money) needed to take part in everyday life. People generally don’t stop and think how important memory is in order to accomplish day to day activities. It’s like a vault that holds all lived experiences that get stored and can then be retrieved or recalled at a later point, or when needed. There are three types of memory which are as follows: Episodic, Semantic, and Procedural.
I describe episodic memory to be just like it sounds: episodes. Like episodes of your life which include autobiographical events such as birthdays, holidays, as well as any personal experiences. I remember getting my first puppy, my siblings and I were in the pool and my mom had told us our dad had a surprise for us, but we didn’t know what it was. When she saw him pull up to the driveway she told us he had arrived and we all jumped out of the pool soaking wet, and made our way to the front of the house and there he was standing with a big cardboard box and we saw the puppy.
Semantic memory sounds almost like “cement”, to me at at least. Like cement, which is strong and long-lasting, semantic memory is part of long-term memory. It holds common things like how to pronounce your name, how to count to ten, names of countries, and names of colors and shapes. Semantic memory harbors facts that aren’t acquired from personal experiences. An example of this the fact that I know Peru’s capital is Lima, and that Washington is a state while Washington D.C. is the U.S. capital.
Procedural memory, like procedure, helps in remembering how to do things and how perform certain procedures. Such include procedures followed when a surgeon is in the middle of performing a surgery, or the basics like walking, going up the stairs, bike riding, etc. Examples of procedural memory include my knowledge on how to ride a bike or how to play the flute.
Episodic memory, as previously stated, is like autobiographical episodes of one’s life. Memory of a typical individual declines with age, and episodic memory, which retains contextual information about personally experienced events in one’s life seems especially vulnerable to aging (Mohanty, Naveh-Benjamin, & Ratnwshwar, 2016. Pp. 25). For people with Alzheimer’s for example, episodic memory is one of the first things they cannot recall. They forget details from their life, like if their mental cassette has started to reset, and little by little these details escape their mind.
In contrast, patients with Alzheimer’s disease typically display impairments in episodic memory, but with semantic deficits of a much lesser magnitude (Irish, Addis, Hodges, Piguet, 2012. Pp. 2178). While in episodic memory personal events are forgotten first, with semantic memory basic facts such as colors and shapes are not forgotten as easily.
Last, there is procedural memory which is retained longer by individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting that structuring of activities based on well learned habits may preserve function (Bonder, Zadorny, Martin, 1998. Pp.88). This demonstrates that procedural memory which includes something as getting dressed is retained longer in some individuals.
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Mohanty, P., Naveh-Benjamin, M., Ratneshwar, S., Psychology and Aging, Vol 31(1), Feb, 2016 pp. 25-36. Publisher: American Psychological Association; [Journal Article], Database: PsycARTICLES
Irish,M., Addis, D.R., Hodges, J.R., Piguet, O., Neurological Disorders and Brain Damage (2012, March 11). Publisher: United Kingdom : Oxford University Press; [Journal Article], Database: PSYCINFO
Bonder, B., Zadorzny, C., Martin, R., Dressing in Alzheimer’s disease: Executive function and procedural memory, Vol 19(2), 1998 pp.88-92. Publisher: Haworth Press; [Journal Article], Database: PsycINFO