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Memory is the remarkable ability of the mind, through which information is coded, stored and downloaded. It is the mental faculty that is able to retain and recall the previously experienced sensations, impressions, information, and ideas. It is the ability of the brain to retain and learn from the past. From the earliest times, the phenomena of encoding information in the brains have aroused and still fascinate many scientists. However, the exact way in which the brain remembers is still not fully understood.
Lavie (1995, 2000) presented the Perceptual Load Theory as a potential solution for long-standing early and late attentional selection debate. Whilst, Broadbent (1958) argued that selection occurs at the early stages of processing. He suggested the concept that information must first overcome the sensory filter. However, this filter has a limited capacity, so all information that is not directly present will be destroyed. While researchers such as Deutsch and Deutsch (1963) have argued that this filtering of irrelevant stimuli occurs at late stages of processing. So all information is processed at the sensual level. Only before the operational memory level the semantic content of the message is a filter. Lavie (1995, 2000) tried to solve this debate, stating that both early and late selection occurs in different ways depending on the stimulus presented.
Broadbent (1958) was the first scientist who described the human processing system as a process of filtering information. According to his concept, information is simultaneously introduced into sensory memory and there for a very short time they remain available for further processing. This theory assumes that a selective filter is needed to cope with the overwhelming amount of information being absorbed. The information selected to pass through the filter is then available for short-term memory and manipulation of selected information before storing in long-term memory. In support of his assumptions, he made an experiment using the dichotomy task of listening. In this trial, he sent one message to the right ear of the examined and another message to her other ear. The result of that experiment showed that people will repeat messages because they are sent ear-by-ear and not in the order in which they were heard. In addition, goal-directed behavior requires attention control. Therefore, a high degree of selectivity appears in the information processing stream.
The model Deutsch & Deutsch (1963) is called the late selection model. It claims that all information (attended and unattended) is analyzed for the meaning of choosing input data for full consciousness. They claimed that all stimuli are fully analyzed, with the most important stimulus determines the response. The factor which determines the choice of information is their timeliness. They also distinguish the level of awareness of the stimulus because they are separate from the analysis of meaning. It follows that semantic selection does not always require the participation of consciousness.
Lavie (1995, 2000) presented an idea from the Perceptual Load Theory regarding the recognition of objects at the same or different points of view. The results of that showed that the high perceptual load reduces distractor recognition levels. It also showed that distractor recognition levels are not affected by changing the view of the distracter object in the conditions of low perceptual load. These results were found both with the initial measurements of the distracter recognition repeats and with the results of the unexpected recognition memory test. Therefore it is a support of the theory of loads. This statement confirms the critical diagnosis that the level of memorization depends on the level of perceptual load.
To sum up, Perceptual Load Theory depends on stimulus variation. It means whether the stimulus has a high or low perceptual load. The perceptual charge refers to the complexity of the physical stimuli, in particular, the stimuli of the distractors, e.g. a square surrounded by circles is a scene with a low perceptual load, while the square surrounded by many different shapes has a high perceptual load. According to the assumption about the limited possibility of resources, the attention for tasks with a high load goal, resources or attention is faster consumed, so that they can reach the goal faster compared to the task with a small load. This is because the low load task must process more distractions to exhaust mental resources. Therefore, distractors cause more inference in finding a goal. It follows that selection occurs both at the early and late stages of processing. So during the early stages (high load state) when the degree of inference is low because most resources process the target and allow the unit to ignore the distractors. Like the late stages (low load state), when distractors are seen because they consume fewer attention resources and as such they overflow into the distractors, which causes them to be perceived, causing interference.
The value of memory in human life is difficult to overestimate. People rarely think about its essence. It is not sufficiently appreciated and treated with due respect. For many it is simply forgotten because it was, is and will be – so it is nothing extraordinary. However, it is essential for proper functioning in every sphere of life. Without it, people would not be able to satisfy even the most basic needs. Because they could not acquire knowledge and accumulate skills, hence, they would not be able to get food or even communicate. Without an efficiently working memory, people would not be able to exist normally.
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