Why is a certain type of information more difficult to process and remember compared to another type of information? Be specific in your description.
Certain types of information are easier for the human brain to process than others. For example, aspects of the working memory can be tainted when multi-tasking is attempted. With regards to Week 3 Online Lecture Notes, the central executive component of the working memory is “responsible for controlling attention and coordinating information..” with both the phonological loop and the visuospatial sketchpad, the other components of the working memory. In short, what is heard, seen, and perceived can be mixed up within the central executive component, resulting in information difficult to move from the short-term to the long-term (Online Lectures).
What three factors increase the rate at which information moves through the various memory systems?
The three major factors that increase the rate at which information moves through sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory with regards to Nathan is simple. An echo, or the auditory memory representation of a sound, leaves a much larger impression on the brain than its visual equivalent, explaining why he can easily recall song lyrics. Moving to the short-term memory and working memory, it is repetition in particular that catalyzes the rate of information flow, due to the short amount of time this part of the consciousness is able to hold information. Overall, however, encoding is the factor that catalyzes the movement of information the most prolifically. Making lists and prioritizing in the mind includes this process (Online Lecture Notes).
What three factors slow down the rate at which information moves through the various memory systems?
The three factors that slow down the movement of information through the brain so it can be retained the best are outside substances, the built-in limitations of capacity and duration in the short-term memory, as well as the little that can be done to improve cognitive memory. The use, and specifically the long-term use of a drug like alcohol can substantially inhibit the movement of information within the brain. It is well known to disrupt the chemicals in the brain directly responsible for forming new memories. The limits of the working memory, defined as capacity, or the amount of information a brain can process, and duration, or the short amount of time something stays within a brains working, and therefore short-term, memory. The Demonstration Digit Span from Chapter Five in the textbook illustrates this fact. Building on this idea, the third factor that inhibits the travel of information through the brain is, while the brain continues to deteriorate with age, there is no real way to improve cognition (Online Lecture Notes).
How would you suggest developing computer-based educational/training programs that more readily aid in moving information through the memory systems?
The best way to create a training program for the brain, which is essentially what is being proposed, to further the movement of information through the brain is clearly to work on one’s ability to encode information. With reference to Chapter 5, as well as the Online Lecture notes, this would include improving the hippocampus to be able to incorporate different and various types of coding, and translate it. Because auditory coding is already at an advanced stage compared to visual and semantic, the computer-based program would focus on those portions in particular. A particularly helpful exercise would be to briefly flash an image on a screen, and then have the user attempt to recollect every detail they remembered about the image. A less abstract way to conduct this exercise would be to briefly flash a sentence on the screen, and then ask users to transpose it from memory. Training such as this may allow the brains visual coding system to catch up to its auditory, thus catalyzing the flow and storing of information. I do feel that to some extent this would strengthen a person’s short-term memory. Though there is evidence to suggest this is not possible, I feel exercises such as this would further stimulate the hippocampus by forced auditory stimulation.