Articles for Long Term Memory

By Lily Lachapelle on Monday, June 18, 2018
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Long Term Memory and Children

What is long term memory? The term “memory” is used in casual conversation to generally describe an individual’s capacity to recall. But in psychological communication, memory may have a far more specific meaning. Long term memory is the type of memory that allows for the storage of information for an extended period of time.  Other terms involving memory include “Short Term Verbal Memory”, “Verbal Working Memory”, “Visual Spatial Memory” and “Visual Spatial Working Memory”. Although they have different, but overlapping meaning, these different memories activate different parts of our brain. For example, a parent who describes their child as having a great memory because they can recall every ride they went on at Disney World 2 years ago (long term memory), can also be frustrated by their child’s lack of effort with remembering 2 step directions (verbal working memory). In this instance, we may be looking at 2 different types of memory using 2 different parts of our brain.  This parent may not know they may be looking at 2 different types of memory using 2 different parts of the brain.

Children who have difficulties with LTM often struggle in school because they have to overcome obstacles that prohibit them from retaining information even after multiple attempts of repetition and substantial practice.  These children avoid reading, perform worse on essay or open-ended tests than on multiple choice tests and may encounter problems recalling an event that happened over a week or two ago. Children who have difficulties with long term memory experience such challenges because they struggle with encoding information and preservation. It is important for parents and teachers to remember that trouble with LTMs is not directly linked to general intelligence.

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