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In the study of memory, encoding is the processing of physical sensory input into one's memory. It is considered the first of three steps in memory information processing; the remaining two steps are storage and retrieval. During memory encoding, information may be processed about space, time, and frequency through automatic processing or effortful processing.
Types of encoding
- Visual encoding is the processing of images.
- Acoustic encoding is the processing of sound, particularly the sound of words.
- Semantic encoding is the processing of meaning, particularly the meaning of words.
Encoding for short-term storage (STS) in the brain relies primarily on acoustic rather than semantic encoding.
Baddeley (1966) investigated how information is encoded into short-term and long-term memories (STM and LTM, respectively). In STM the information is normally stored acoustically (as sound) as opposed to LTM where the information is normally stored semantically (as meaning).
- David G. Myers (2004). Psychology, New York: Worth Publishers. ISBN 0-7167-8595-1.
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