According to Fagan (1974) memory is the ability to encode information, store and retrieve the encoded information. Therefore memory is what determines what we know and it makes us. Because if we can’t retrieve the information stored in our memory we are not going to recall anything. There are three classification of memory depending with the length that the information can be stored. Sensory memory is the first classification, and this is the ability of a person to remember what he/she has looked at with just a second of observation. This memory fades so quickly and it includes the iconic and echoic memory. Short term memory gives an individual the opportunity to remember what he/she has observed within a period of several seconds or some minutes without rehearsal. This memory can be increased by process like chunking and it depends on acoustic and visual code for information storage. The last classification is the long term memory which stores large information for longer duration. Memory is interesting to me because it makes us. If we can’t recall what’s, who’s, when and how’s of lives we are going to be nobody.
Ken (2002) noted that memory and conscious feeds into one another. As discussed above memory is the process of using and storing information, therefore it feeds into conscious which is the awareness of an individual’s surrounding. Conscious also consists of what’s in individuals mind. For one to be aware of his/her surrounding there must be information that is stored in ones brain. The short term and long term memories enables an individual to store enough information which he/she can use to clearly understand the surrounding. Therefore, the ability to recall or to remember happenings in ones environment is critical. It is the explicit memory that is going to give an individual knowledge that consists of conscious recall. If one is alert he’ll be in position to monitor the stored information unlike when he is asleep. In addition the process by which information is encoded calls for ones conscious attention.
Memory is related to Shamans. The medicine men and women use prayers, incarnation, exorcism and elaborate rituals to alter a person’s conscious. Due to their consistent practice of healing and divination, the long term memory has stored enough information about the practices of the shamans to the extent that people’s conscious are altered and made to believe that practices by shamans are real. Shamanic powers can be inherited as well as learned. In the case where shamanic powers are learnt, the shaman trainer will store large quantities of information about shamanic practices from which he/she will retrieve the skills and practices. In addition, the implicit memory is going to enable shamans to master their skills which are going to be stored as the procedural memory. Thereafter, the shamans can consistently retrieve the stored memory on the skills and practices through priming and explicit memory.
Learning is the process through which a person endures changes within his/her surrounding due experience. Learning emanates from the memory because for a person to learn he must store the information and keep referring to it. Therefore the consolidation of one’s long term memory directly relates with association and conditioned learning. The ability of a person to link two events within his/her surrounding will depend in the person’s long term storage, particularly the individual’s consolidation of the long term memory. Just like the long term memory is enhanced through rehearsal, so is the learning process. A person can learn by associating behaviors with events in the surrounding and this requires higher degree of recall. This can only happen when the stored memory is large enough and can be sustained for a longer duration within the person’s brain.
W. (2002). The Spectrum of Consciousness. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. pp. 3–16
Fagan, J. F. (1974). Infant recognition memory: The effects of length of familiarization and type of discrimination task. Child Development 45: 351–356.