You receive information from the senses, such as sight and hearing, and hold it for
one or two seconds while you process it and decide what to do with it. What you ignore quickly fades and cannot be retrieved, much as sound dissolves. Remember how you can sometimes catch an echo of a sentence, or a glimpse of someone you sort of recognize when you’re not really paying attention, but then, in an instant, it’s gone.
If you pay attention to something, the details are then transferred to the short-term memory, which can only store up to seven pieces of data at any one time. For instance, using this memory you can remember the digits of an internet bank account or a pin code for only as long as it takes for you to key it in. As soon as the short-term memory is “full,” it only takes a new piece of information to dislodge an old one because the neural mechanisms, (the meanings and associations) have not been created to allow you to recall the information later on. Some scientists believe that evolution has shaped this memory to have a limited capacity. Can you imagine if you were able to retain all the visual information you picked up in a day? What would happen if you kept a memory of every stranger you walked past and every sign you read? Well, your brain would eventually suffer from data overload. The advantage of a limited working memory is that it allows you to prioritize and focus on the task at hand.
What makes information cross over to long-term memory? Any information can be committed to this memory through the process of rehearsal and meaningful association. Once processed, the information can be recalled weeks, months, or even years later. To make this effective, you must make as many links as possible to increase the number of starting points for retrieving the memory. Links are established when you cogitate, review, and analyze information. Association, in particular, relies on your visual memory (demonstrated with the Journey Method on p.36), which is an effective way of recalling a list of disparate items. One thing we do know about memory is that if it is linked to a personal experience or emotion it is more likely to be recalled. If you’re not convinced, then think of a birthday. Which do you remember: your 10th, 15th, 18th, or 21st? Chances are it’s your 18th or 21st because of the significance.
Source of Information : BRAIN TRAINING BOOST MEMORY, MAXIMIZE MENTAL AGILITY, & AWAKEN YOUR INNER GENIUS