what is memory

Memory is the faculty of the mind by which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved. Memory is vital to experiences and related to limbic systems, it is the retention of information over time for the purpose of influencing future action. If we could not remember past events, we could not learn or develop language, relationships, nor personal identity

Often memory is understood as an informational processing system with explicit and implicit functioning that is made up of a sensory processor, short-term (or working) memory, and long-term memory (Baddely, 2007). The sensory processor allows information from the outside world to be sensed in the form of chemical and physical stimuli and attended to with various levels of focus and intent. Working memory serves as an encoding and retrieval processor. Information in the form of stimuli is encoded in accordance with explicit or implicit functions by the working memory processor. The working memory also retrieves information from previously stored material. Finally, the function of long-term memory is to store data through various categorical models or systems (Baddely, 2007).

Explicit and implicit functions of memory are also known as declarative and non-declarative systems (Squire, 2009). These systems involve the purposeful intention of memory retrieval and storage, or lack thereof. Declarative, or explicit, memory is the conscious storage and recollection of data (Graf & Schacter, 1985). Under declarative memory resides semantic and episodic memory. Semantic memory refers to memory that is encoded with specific meaning (Eysenck, 2012), while episodic memory refers to information that is encoded along a spatial and temporal plane (Schacter & Addis, 2007; Szpunar, 2010). Declarative memory is usually the primary process thought of when referencing memory