i have been told in the past that i have a memory like an elephant. Fo those of you who don’t know what elephants memories are like they are very good. I can remember alot from my childhood much more than my siblings, if you ask me anything i can recall in detail the events that happened. However my short term memory is rubbish. Ask me what i had for tea last night you’ll get a blank response.
However if i really push my memory i can remember what i had for tea last night but it will stick in my memory from then on, moving it from my short term memory store to my long term memory store.
Decay theory relates to both LTM, STM and relates to lack of availability. Trace decay theory focuses on time and the limited duration of short term memory.
This theory suggests STM can only hold information for between 15 and 30 seconds unless it is rehearsed. After this time the information decays. This explanation of forgetting in short term memory assumes that memories leave a trace in the brain. A trace is some form of physical and/or chemical change in the nervous system. This theory states that forgetting occurs as a result of the automatic decay or fading of the memory trace. According to the trace decay theory of forgetting, the events between learning and recall have no affect whatsoever on recall, it’s the length of time the information has to be retained that is important. The longer the time, the more the memory trace decays and as a consequence more information is forgotten.
Miller said that short term memory holds 7+/- 2 items, STM can only hold small amounts of information and so when STM is full old memories get pushed off and new information takes over that space. Support for the view that displacement was responsible for the loss of information from short-term memory came from studies using the ‘free-recall’ method.
This would explain why i cant remember what i had for tea last night but if i rehearse this it will be stored in my LTM and i’ll be able then to tell you everything you want to know down to the sauce i had on it….thats if you want to know. 🙂
So yes i think it is possible to train memories to stay if you rehearse them before they decay.