Why do we Forget?
By Bryce Carroll
A short-term, or “working,” memory that temporarily holds information about just a few things that we are currently thinking about; and a long-lasting memory that can hold massive amounts of information gained through a lifetime of thoughts and experiences. These two memory systems are also thought to differ in the level of detail they provide: working memory provides sharp detail about the few things we are presently thinking about, whereas long-term memory provides a much fuzzier picture about lots of different things we have seen or experienced. That is, although we can hold lots of things in long-term memory, the details of the memory aren’t always crystal-clear and are often limited to just the gist of what we saw or what happened.
The Research & Psychologist
In their work, the researchers asked subjects to try to remember 3,000 pictures of common objects—including items such as backpacks, remote controls and toasters—that were presented one at a time for just a few seconds each.