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Compare and evaluate two models said to describe the structure of memory.

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Compare and evaluate two models said to describe the structure of memory. Colin Crumpler, 191318, 30/10/02 The short and long term memory stores are what most reflect upon when talking about the memory, yet the structure of the memory has proved to be more complex than originally thought. There have been a few different models for the structure of the memory suggested including the multi-store model (Atkinson and Shiffrin, 1968), the working memory model (Baddeley and Hitch, 1974) and the connectionist model (Anderson, 1983; Collins and Loftus, 1975). The two that will be concentrated on however will be the multi-store and working memory model, as these are the most influential models used so therefore will be the most relevant to discuss. The two models will be discussed in turn and will follow by an examination of the differences between the two, concluding in the uses of the models. The first model of the structure of the memory to be looked at is the Atkinson - Shiffron Model (1968), also known as the 'modal model'. There are 3 main parts of the Atkinson - Shiffron model; first the sensory register, the short term memory and the long-term memory, and each have their own specific jobs to attend to. ...read more.


The information stored in the short term memory is thought to be stored as sound (acoustic encoding), for example when remembering a telephone number it is stored as it is spoken in the short term memory, whereas when information is stored in the long term memory it is stored as it is written and in terms of meaning (semantic encoding). The long-term memory is the vast database of information in the brain, the information has at some point been transferred through the sensory register and short-term memory to the long-term memory where it is stored indefinitely. As mentioned earlier the information transported to the long-term memory is usually voluntary, there are processes involved in placing the information in the long-term memory, these are called the control processes. First the relevant information is selected and manipulated giving special attention to certain items. If there is any related information in the long-term memory then the new information is linked so that upon the need for retrieval items from different situation and times can be recalled for one subject. The size of the long term memory and how long information stays there for has yet to be discovered, and many scientists believe that although many people cannot remember much from childhood, that the memories are still there yet it cannot be reached. ...read more.


There are two main processes in the sketchpad; the visualizing of images and spatial awareness within the mind, the 'inner eye' ( Baddeley, Thompson and Buchanan, 1975) and also controlling the images received from the physical eye and making us aware of the surroundings around us. This slave system is linked to the articulatory loop and both work together, as illustrated in the matrix experiment (Baddeley et al, 1975). This involved a 4 x 4 matrix of squares and a subject was given instructions to place numbers in the boxes, upon completion the subject is then asked to repeat the sentences of instructions as they were read out to them. This involves the use of both the slaves in the system as the sentences are constructed from the visual image of the matrix stored. Having looked at the two models of the structure of the memory, the difference between them is the complexity of the short-term memory. Both models however could be interpreted as being correct and both provide solid reasoning behind the working of the memory. If a simple approach to the aspect of memory was needed then the Atkinson and Shiffrin's modal model would be a beneficial explanation however more understanding and research into the memory may require a more complex approach, this is where Baddeley and Hitch working memory model would be useful. ...read more.

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