3. Brain memory types

Below, we present various classifications or types of memory according to the different criteria.

The aforementioned presentation does not have an exhaustive nor exclusive character. Some brain memory types do not appear and those mentioned may appear in various categories, for I have tried to keep the exposition as clear as possible.

We all know that brain memory has diverse degrees of temporal retention of data. Over time, the information that our memory provides us with disappears. Other information is harder for us to find in our memory and it is not as exact as it was previously. Other information not only is inexact, but rather we can tell that, in reality, we are reconstructing the data from little information, etc.

We will examine each of these categories and their brain memory types in greater detail.


3.a) Conscious cognitive processes

3.a.1. Instantaneous memory

It contains all information that is accessible in real time, immediately. Although it may seem otherwise, this brain memory is very large; all the information that we constantly use in our daily life is here. We will look at some of its main components:

  • Normal information such as where things are located, pending tasks, routines, etc.

  • The preconceptions, those make up a part of our character or personality.

  • Automatic response programs loaded in a short period of time when we wake up. Linguistic memory and other special brain memories also form a part of this instantaneous memory when they are active.

  • Special automatic response programs like driving or those that correspond to dangerous situations that are loaded when considered useful.

  • Working memory associated with the operation of logic or intelligence. This memory is very limited and its optimum operation implies the use of three or four variables simultaneously. When thinking and performing logical operations with more than five variables, it takes a long time to advance.

  • The auxiliary working memory corresponds to all the variables that are available to be located in the operative working memory cited in the previous paragraph. All the information known about the subject we are working with pertains to this category.

This configuration's automatism allows for the simultaneous performance of various tasks; the human consciousness is similar to the computer's interface and the unconsciousness with programs residing in the instantaneous memory. Therefore, the more automatic the cerebral processes or the computer programs are, the freer the human consciousness, or the simpler and more intuitive the program's interface will be.

Driving program
Motorway link

However, this simplicity is accompanied by a disadvantage that is good to keep in mind; computer's automatism sometimes does not let us know exactly what it has done or why. It is always necessary to have general knowledge of how computers work, and the only way to have this is with practice and time.

3.a.2. Specialized memory

In this category, we can include the types of special brain memory for automatic loading in instantaneous memory that also form part of long-term memory; although they are not as compressed as this memory, and have their own multidimensional systems of reference.

The following are examples of special memories: linguistic memory, certain visual memory, the archive of the preconceptions, and pre-established quick response programs such as emotions.