Human Memories and Computer Workings

Memory is defined as the ability to obtain information, store it, and recall it after some time. Multistore-Store, established in 1968 by Atkinson and Shiffrin, suggests that information in the memory exists in three states: long-term, short-term, and sensory (Varior et al., 2016). Moreover, the information in the human mind is transmitted from one stage to another by rehearsing; however, the same information is forgotten when people stop paying attention to it (Varior et al., 2016). Encoding is the process through which memory is received, process, and combine information. (Varior et al., 2016). Human memory and computer working are often compared because they store information through short-term and long-term memories that can be retrieved and used after some time.

In the human brain, encoding provides an opportunity for the brain to receive information from the external source in the form of physical stimuli and chemicals. During this process, human changes the information to encode it through memory. Storage is the process through which human and computer memory transform encoded information into a permanent record (Varior et al., 2016). It is the second stage of memory, and both humans and computers use this process to maintain certain information over a long period (Varior et al., 2016). Retrieval or recognition is the process in which the stored information in the memory is recalled. The process involves locating the information, hence bringing it back to consciousness.

Human brains, as well as computer memory, have both long-term and short-term memory. A computer’s short-term memory exists as a random-access memory chip or RAM (Varior et al., 2016). The computer’s RAM is composed of an operating system as well as application programs, which ensured retrieval of the current data is done within the shortest time possible through a device known as a processor (Varior et al., 2016). Computers must use RAM as its main memory theirice. It enables users to access the information faster when they need it. Furthermore, RAM is compared to human short-term memory (Varior et al., 2016). Short-term memory is used in maintaining an immediate activity, and its capacity to store facts is limited to a small number of 7 items within a shorperiodme, such as 20 seconds (Varior et al., 2016). Both human beings and computers use their short-term memory to finish immediate tasks.

Long-term memory, as far as computers are concerned, exists in the form of hard drives. It is worth noting that computers use their long-term memory to store numerous files that are accessed through activation commands in the device (Varior et al., 2016). Long-term implies information storage over a longer period of operiods one month, one hour, or two years (Varior et al., 2016). Long-term memory is considered to be outside the conscious mind. It is accessed when needed, from rehearsal to working memory (Varior et al., 2016). The access of memories differs because some can be retrieved quickly while others require reminder or prompt depending on the usefulness of the information (Varior et al., 2016). For instance, people can easily recall important activities such as their wedding days compared to national holidays. Furthermore, accessing memories frequently makes it easier and strong to recall (Varior et al., 2016). It is necessary to note that information in long-term memory is encoded in neural networks; therefore, when people access these memories repeatedly, they strengthen the recollection process (Varior et al., 2016). Failure to recall information can lead to other consequences such as loss of the memories, weaken or replacement by other data.

The comparison of brain and computer is not valid based on their different modes of functioning. Notably, Computers have advantages over human memory regarding information processing (Ricker et al., 2016). Notably, computers have thecan a large amount of data faster and more reliable compared to human beings (Ricker et al., 2016). In addition to this, computers are made in such a way that they analyze and compare the data simultaneously with faster access to information by the users (Ricker et al., 2016). On the other hand, the brain is more flexible, and it can canus tasks that computers cannot do, such as functioning when a human being is sleeping (Ricker et al., 2016). Additionally, the brain uses chemicals to transmit information, while computers employ electrical to perform the same function (Ricker et al., 2016). For the computers to function, they need a switch to turn them on and off while neurons in the brain are alert all the time without binary actions.

Neurons in the brain constantly receive information from other cells in the body parts by a synaptic contact. As a result, the human brain is actively engaged all the time, unlike computers that sleep once it is switched off (Ricker et al., 2016). Nevertheless, every information leads to the possibility of producing an action potential through lowering or raising the threshold concerning neurons (Ricker et al., 2016). Furthermore, the memory of a computer can only grow when computer chips are added. However, the brain’s memories increase in size through a stronger connection of synaptic. Brains can also learn new things faster and easier, but the computer can resolve numerous and complex problems in the same period ((Ricker et al., 2016). A person’s brain depends on nutrients such as sugar and oxygen to perform its function, while a computer needs power; therefore, limiting their comparisons.

There are three main categories of theories concerning memory that establish reasons that lead to forgetting. Theories of forgetting include trace decay and a displacement for short-term memory information (Ricker et al., 2016). Additionally, interference, a lock of consolidation as well as retrieval failure for the long-term memories. The act of forgetting is grounded on two factors, such as registration strength regarding new perceptions and new learning, and the elements that are operating to achieve erosion (Ricker et al., 2016). Furthermore, the strength under which materials are registered depends on the frequency through which the subject experiences the intensity of the material, content, and the usefulness and meaningfulness of the material about the subject (Ricker et al., 2016). Psychologically, people forget because of two things: the disappearance of the memory, meaning it is no longer obtainable, which applies to short-term memory (Ricker et al., 2016). Secondly, people forget because the memory is stored in the system; however, due to some reasons, they are not retrievable, which relates to the long-term memory.

In conclusion, information is received through human senses such as the eye, nose, and ears and is stored in sensory memories. Moreover, human memory consists of huge data concerning their environment, hence leading to decay and forgetting of most of the information. Information is passed from one stage of memory to another through rehearsal and recall of the events. Additionally, human short memory is compared to computer RAM because they have limited capacity and are volatile.


Ricker, T. J., Vergauwe, E., & Cowan, N. (2016). Decay theory of immediate memory: From Brown (1958) to today (2014). Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69(10), 1969-1995.

Varior, R. R., Shuai, B., Lu, J., Xu, D., & Wang, G. (2016). A siamese long short-term memory architecture for human re-identification. In European conference on computer vision (pp. 135-153). Springer, Cham.