The reasons for allocating different types of memory are: the nature of mental activity, the degree of awareness of the stored information (images), the nature of the connection with the goals of activity, the duration of saving images, the goals of research.
According to the nature of mental activity (depending on the type of analyzers, sensory systems and subcortical formations of the brain included in the memory processes), memory is divided into: figurative, motor, emotional, and verbal-logical.
Image memory is the memory of images formed by processes of perception through various sensory systems and reproduced in the form of representations. In this regard, the image memory is allocated:
visual (an image of a close person's face, a tree in the yard of their home, the cover of a textbook on the subject being studied);
auditory (the sound of your favorite song, your mother's voice, the noise of jet engines or the surf);
taste (taste of your favorite drink, lemon acid, bitterness of black pepper, sweetness of Oriental fruits);
olfactory (smell of meadow grasses, favorite perfume, smoke from a fire);
tactile (the soft back of the kitten, the mother's gentle hands, the pain of an accidentally cut finger, the heat of a room heating battery).
Available statistics show the relative capabilities of these types of memory in the educational process. Thus, when listening to a lecture once (i.e. using only auditory memory), the student can reproduce only 10% of its content the next day. With independent visual study of the lecture (using only visual memory), this figure increases to 30%. The story and visibility bring this figure to 50%. Practical training of the lecture material using all the above types of memory provides 90% success rate.
Motor memory is manifested in the ability to remember, save and reproduce various motor operations (swimming, Cycling, playing volleyball). This type of memory is the basis of work skills and any appropriate motor acts.
Emotional memory is the memory of feelings (the memory of fear or shame for a previous action). Emotional memory is considered to be one of the most reliable and reliable "repositories" of information. "What a vindictive person you are!" - we say to a person who can not forget the offense inflicted on him for a long time and is not able to forgive the offender.
Lack of emotional memory leads to "emotional dullness": a person becomes an unattractive, uninteresting, robot-like creature for others. The ability to enjoy and suffer is a necessary condition for a person's mental health.
Word-logical, or semantic, memory is the memory of thoughts and words. Actually, there are no thoughts without words, which is emphasized by the very name of this type of memory. According to the degree of participation of thinking in verbal-logical memory, sometimes conditionally allocate mechanical and logical. Mechanical memory is spoken of when information is stored and stored primarily by repeating it many times without a deep understanding of the content. By the way, mechanical memory tends to deteriorate with age. An example is the "forced" memorization of words that are not related in meaning.
Logical memory is based on the use of semantic links between memorized objects, objects, or phenomena. It is constantly used, for example, by teachers: when presenting new lecture material, they periodically remind students of previously introduced concepts related to this topic.
According to the nature of the connection with the goals of activity, there is a distinction between voluntary and involuntary memory. Involuntary memory is a trace of an image in the mind that occurs without a purpose specifically set for it. The information is saved automatically, as it were, without volitional effort. In childhood, this type of memory is developed, and with age weakens. An example of involuntary memory is capturing a picture of a long queue at the ticket office of a concert hall.
Arbitrary memory - intentional (volitional) memory of an image associated with a goal and carried out using special techniques. For example, an operative of law enforcement agencies remembers external signs in the guise of a criminal in order to identify and arrest him at a meeting. It should be noted that the comparative characteristics of voluntary and involuntary memory on the strength of memorizing information does not give absolute advantages to any of them.
According to the duration of saving images, there are instantaneous (sensory), short-term, operational and long-term memory.
Instantaneous (sensory) memory is a memory that holds information received by the senses without processing it. It is almost impossible to manage this memory. Varieties of this memory:
iconic (post-image memory, images of which are stored for a short period of time after a brief presentation of the object; if you close your eyes, then open them for a moment and close them again, then the image of what you saw stored for a time of 0.1-0.2 s will make up the content of this type of memory);
echoic (post-image memory, images of which are stored for 2-3 seconds after a brief auditory stimulus).
Short-term (working) memory is memory for images after a single, short-term perception and with immediate (in the first seconds after perception) reproduction. This type of memory reacts to the number of perceived symbols (signs), their physical nature, but not to their informational content. There is a magic formula for short-term memory: "seven plus or minus two". This means that when numbers (letters, words, symbols, etc.) are presented once, 5-9 objects of this type remain in short-term memory. Retention of information in short-term memory is on average 20-30 seconds.
RAM, which is "related" to short-term memory, allows you to save the image trace only for performing current actions (operations). For example, sequential removal of information symbols of a message from the display screen and retention in memory until the end of the entire message.
Long-term memory is memory for images, "designed" for long-term preservation of their traces in the mind and subsequent repeated use in future life. It is the Foundation of solid knowledge. Information is extracted from long-term memory in two ways: either at will, or when certain areas of the cortex are irritated (for example, during hypnosis, or when certain areas of the cortex are irritated by a weak electric current). The most important information is stored in a person's long-term memory for life.
Genetic (biological) memory is determined by the mechanism of heredity. This is the "memory of the ages", the memory of the biological events of the huge evolutionary period of man as a species. It preserves a person's propensity for certain behaviors and patterns of action in specific situations. Through this memory are transmitted elementary innate reflexes, instincts, and even elements of the physical appearance of a person.
Episodic memory refers to the storage of individual fragments of information with a record of the situation in which it was perceived (time, place, method). For example, a person searching for a gift to a friend has mapped out a clear route around retail outlets, fixing suitable items by location, floor, Department stores and the faces of sellers working there.
Reproductive memory consists of repeated reproduction by Recalling an original previously saved object. For example, an artist draws a picture from memory (based on recollection) of the taiga landscape that he contemplated while on a creative business trip. It is known that Aivazovsky created all his paintings from memory.
Reconstructive memory consists not so much in the reproduction of an object as in the procedure for restoring a disturbed sequence of stimuli to its original form. For example, a manufacturing engineer recovers a lost sequence of manufacturing processes for a complex part from memory.
Associative memory relies on any established functional relationships (associations) between stored objects. A man passing by a pastry shop remembered that at home he was instructed to buy a cake for dinner.
Autobiographical memory is the memory of events in your own life (in principle, it can be attributed to a kind of episodic memory).
All types of memory belonging to different classification grounds are closely interrelated. Indeed, for example, the quality of short-term memory determines the level of functioning of long-term memory. At the same time, objects perceived simultaneously through several channels are better remembered by a person.