Multy Store Model

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The Multi-Store Model of Memory Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) claimed that the memory system was made up of three distinct stores. Sensory memory where information can be stored for a very brief moment of time. STM, that has very little capacity and information can only be stored for a short duration of time and finally LTM which potentially has unlimited capacity and duration. If a person’s attention if focused on material in sensory memory, then it is transferred to STM. Atkinson and Shiffrin also implied that transfer of information from STM to LTM was through a process called ‘rehearsal’. They proposed a direct link between STM and the strength of LTM, claiming that the more the information is rehearsed the better it is remembered. Research studies have supported Atkinson and Shiffrin’s view that the stores of information are different in terms of capacity, duration and encoding. The existence of separate stores is further supported by the use of modern brain scanning techniques (such as PET SCANS). These have shown, for example the prefrontal cortex is often active when individuals are involved in immediate tasks (i.e. STM) whereas the hippocampus is active when LTM in individuals is engaged. The idea that there is a physiological difference between the STM and LTM is further supported by the study of a man called HM (Milner 1966). Due to a tumour, Milner had to have both his hippocampuses removed. After his surgery he was unable to form any new long term memories, though he could still perform short term tasks. Despite this research support, many criticisms have been thrown at the multi-store model. One of them implying the model is over simplistic. The multi-store model just proposes of one LTM store whereas research suggests several different types of LTM (i.e. Semantic, episodic and procedural

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