The Learning Process
hosted by
San Diego Figure Skating Communications
a non-profit educational organization

Memory Storage

Is there a physical limit to the amount of information the mind can store?
       The brain’s exact capacity for storing memories is impossible to calculate because we lack the knowledge of how to measure the size of a memory. In addition, some memories naturally involve more details and should require more storage space. It also seems that memories that are infrequently recalled may cease to be accessible and which could be over written with active memories.

       New experiences occur over a lifetime and logically there is a system that prioritizes which memories are deleted and which are stored as part of our permanent memory. Some individuals seem to have a very tenacious memory when it comes to others  making mistakes or errors in judgment.

       Memory involves storing information as:

Active, short-term memories — Pieces of information, that last only a few minutes, involve relatively quick and simple chemical changes to the synapse that make it work more efficiently.

Working memory — The system in the brain that provides temporary storage and manipulation of the information necessary for such complex cognitive tasks as language comprehension, learning, and reasoning.  Working memory has been found to require the simultaneous storage and processing of information.

Long term permanent memory —  The brain must manufacture new proteins to allow the neurotransmitter traffic to run more efficiently and lasts hours, days or years. Long-term memories must literally be built into the brain’s synapses.

Eidetic or photographic memory — a psychological or medical term, popularly defined as the ability to recall images, sounds, or objects in memory with extreme precision. Eidetic memory is not limited to merely visual recall – theoretically they can recall other sensory information including auditory, tactile, gustatory, and olfactory.

Didactic learning or rote learning — Students memorize facts. Didactic learning has proven to be ineffective in creating long-term memory retention.

Experiential learning — Associating learning of a fact with a broader experience. Unlike didactic learning, experiential learning is proven highly effective at creating long-term memory retention.

       The ability of any individual to store memory and their ability to recall information relates to intensity and occurrence of such factors as the frequency and duration of exposure to the stimulus, conscious attention and observation, plus the relevance of the information to the individual. Some refer to this as when someone exhibits selective hearing, tunnel vision, or inattention or being ignored.

       Those individuals who generally have normal memory abilities often use mnemonic devices to associate an idea or concept into innumerable elements as a method to recall information.

       Is it possible that the process of remembering can alter memories? Might our perception of events actually be filtered through "Rose Colored Glasses" that block how the actual events occurred?

Scientists have long known that recording a memory requires adjusting the connections
between neurons. Each memory tweaks some tiny subset of the neurons in the brain
(the human brain has 100 billion neurons in all), changing the way they communicate.
Neurons send messages to one another across narrow gaps called synapses. A synapse
is like a bustling port, complete with machinery for sending and receiving cargo — neurotransmitters, specialized chemicals that convey signals between neurons. All of the
shipping machinery is built from proteins, the basic building blocks of cells.

 Source - smithsonian magazine

Have you ever started to introduce someone and their name escapes you?
      Our brains have evolved to be able to code and interpret complex stimuli such as images, colors, structures, sounds, smells, tastes, touch, positions, emotions and language. We use these abilities to make sophisticated models of the world we live in. Our memories store all of these very effectively.

      The key is to coding information using vivid mental images. This approach allows both information and the structure of information to be coded. Vivid images are easier to recall when you need them.

      Following techniques below illustrates how to code information vividly, using stories, strong mental images, familiar journeys, etc.

You can do the following things to make your mnemonics more memorable:

  • Use positive, pleasant images. Your brain often blocks out unpleasant ones.
  • Use vivid, colorful, sense laden images – these are easier to remember than drab ones.
  • Use all your senses to code information or dress up an image. Remember that your mnemonic can contain sounds, smells, tastes, touch, movements and feelings as well as pictures.
  • Give your image three dimensions, movement and space to make it more vivid. You can use movement either to maintain the flow of association, or to help you to remember actions.
  • Exaggerate the size of important parts of the image.
  • Use humor! Funny or peculiar things are easier to remember than normal ones.
  • Similarly, rude rhymes are very difficult to forget!
  • Symbols (red traffic lights, pointing fingers, road signs, etc.) can code quite complex messages quickly and effectively.
Source- Mindtools

       Most people have a real problem in that they have an under developed ability to focus and concentrate their attention to learn and retain large quantities of data.  Study suggestions include: to verbalize;  underline/high light of important information; and study groups. Cramming and memorizing at the last minute for a test generally results in quickly forgetting the materials.


      Mnemonic is a memory tool for remembering information that is otherwise quite difficult to recall. The concept involves the use of a code to retrieve important information about what is otherwise difficult to remember.

      In today's society that is increasingly concerned with security, remembering different passwords for each list is extremely difficult. If we use the computer to store these passwords, we are vulnerable to having it "hacked" and all of our private information, including passwords, can be stolen.

      There are three basic principles that underlay the use of mnemonics:

Imagination: - create and strengthen the associations with the information you wish to recall. These  associations can be universal or highly personal. The strength of the image and your ability to visualize it determines the mind's effectiveness to recall at some future time. Try using your initial impression to create the imagery you use, in your mnemonics, as you are much more likely to remember it.

Association: this is the method by which you link a thing to be remembered to a way of remembering it. You can create associations by:

  • Developing a rhyme or phrase
  • Combining things that link with one another
  • Linking images by color, smell, shape, or feeling.

Location: assigning a specific location allows you to use the same coherent context by storing different data as different location or situations that you can easily keep separate with no danger becoming confused. You need to personalize these locations into your mnemonics to strengthen your ability to keep the data separate.

Looking Into Working Memory
by Kumar Narayanan

        The simple process of remembering things for a short period of time happens every day of our lives; it is fundamental to our experience of the world. Memory over a short period of time, called "working memory", has generated much interest recently both because of its importance to many higher brain functions and the evolution of powerful techniques to study brain processes, such as PET and MRI. Based on these techniques, scientists can pursue exciting questions about the neural underpinnings of working memory.


What is Working Memory?

A Psychological Perspective

Where is Working Memory in the Brain?

The Elusive Central Executive

source - Brain Connection

Recommended Reading:

20 Facts You Must Know About Working Memory  Working memory can be thought of as the equivalent of being mentally online. Working memory is involved with both storing and manipulating information.

Working Memory Working memory is STM . Instead of all information going into one single store, there are different systems for different types of information.

A workout for working memory New research suggests that mental exercises might enhance one of the brain's central components for reasoning and problem solving.

MindTools provides an excellent list of links you can review:
Memory techniques - Academic Tips   Memory techniques and mnemonics, memorization techniques. This page gives you access to powerful methods for significantly improving the power of your memory.

Memory Techniques   Repetition is the "Mother" of learning. If you use more than one sense you create a "synergistic" effect which is powerful memory technique.

Five Simple Techniques to Improve Your Memory Four of these techniques are used to improve assimilation and thus to have longer retention.

Study Techniques, Memory Techniques, College Study Skills  Dec. 9, 2011  This web site contains college study tips and tricks to help you manage your time, take better notes, study more effectively, improve memory,

Memory Techniques: Improve Your Memory and Enhance Your Performance Learn how to improve your memory ...  also encompasses martial arts, dancing, acting and sports.

Memory Techniques - Stonehill College   These are particularly helpful when your sport is in its competitive season. ... Combine techniques. All of these memory techniques can work,

Mind and Memory, memory techniques, memory improvement, how to increase your memory

What is Muscle Memory?   This is extremely important in different types of training for sports. ... Repetitions of gross motor skills are needed for 'muscle memory' to 'take place'.

Important Vision Skills for Sports   Important Vision Skills for Sports. Vision, just like speed and  strength, ... This is called visual memory.

Chunking Patterns Reflect Effector-dependent Representation of coordinates   Patterns of chunking with the keypad hand conditions that retain the effector (finger) movements.

Gravity Lesson Plan Grades 6-8  Air resistance provides a counterforce to gravity as a skydiver falls out of an airplane. ... Understanding motion and the principles that explain it.

The Physics of Kayak Stroking   June 10, 2001. Though Newton's Laws explain the basic concept of how a kayaker is able to propel himself forward, there is a lot more going on. Including torque. Torque is the reason why the kayak swings in the opposite direction of each stroke. If a stroke is done on the right side, the kayak rotates counter-clockwise, but if the stroke is done on the left, the kayak rotates clockwise. This is because that while a stroke is taking place the paddle acts as a lever arm for the vessel.

The Museum of Unworkable Devices Physics Gallery   Unfortunately the assumed physical principles are not always obeyed by .... torque on the system, and that will produce counter-clock -wise motion




The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:
Learning Considerations
PDF  Attentional Focus
PDF  Spatial Disorientation
PDF  Effects of Mood on Performance
PDF  Confidence through Motivation
PDF  Transfer of Learning Issues
Memory Storage
Transference of Skills

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

Athlete Concerns     Collection of Related Ideas    Skating Articles    Related Topics      

Ice Skating Rink Index    Topic Index    Site Index   Home Page