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Cognition is a mental process that involves the ability to paying attention, understanding, decision making and problem solving. However, from an individual psychological functional view, cognition refers to information processing in an individual’s mind. They can be conscious or natural and unconscious or artificial. The processes are an employ of the brain which therefore, include mental thoughts, states of intelligence and knowledge application. When laying down a memory, human begin with attention after perceiving an event. Thereafter, decoding takes place where perceived sensations are combined in the brain. The configuration of this short-term and later conversion to long-term memory in reflex to an extraneous impetus is the precursory of encoding process.
Auditory memory involves processing of sound information. Matlin (2009) argues that it involves hearing, processing and storing information for later retrieval. Echoic, short-term and long-term memories are the three types of memories based on auditory information. In echoic memory, (Matlin, 2009) an echo is created in the brain after information is heard and that echo allows storing and recalling the information for three to four seconds. This memory is believed to be a tiny part of the short-term memory. On the other hand, short-term memory captures sound information by starting with echoic memory. Repeating that information mentally groups it into the short-term memory and can be recalled in a shortest need time period. Auditory memory is long-term if the information needs to be stored permanently (Matlin, 2009).
Sternberg (2009) notes the auditory memory system is ear based, meaning that sound waves are translated into vibrational patterns by the brain to develop specific sounds. This means that any form of hearing disorder can inhibit a person from processing heard information. Playing music and listening, identifying voice tones that are different and to establish different identities between same sounds can help improve ones auditory skills. However, that is easily done in children than in adults because a child’s brain is “plastic” hence can adapt to changes easily than an adult who has a neurological framework already established (Sternberg K, 2009). Meanwhile, it is difficult for individuals to know which memory best suits them but according to study taken among students, doctors and workers, it shows that audio memory is more inferior in adults because it can be distorted by various factors such as noise and various diseases among them stroke, dementia, etc. (Sternberg, 2009). The research shows that audio memory can be lost easily especially in adults as it requires, memorizing, chunking of information (e.g., orange, mango, apple, passion, grapes can be grouped as fruits.) and re-audiolizing (repetition) which are more common among children. Acoustic encoding is an important aspect in auditory memory as it allows sub-vocally rehearsal of input hence facilitates remembering (Sternberg, 2009).
Visual cognition refers to processing visual information, and this means responding to visual stimuli by the brain (Matlin, 2009). Cognition takes place when a visual sensory input has first taken place, and this means that what the eye sees, e.g. a ball is a series of shapes, lines and colors and once that information has been processed then that shape becomes a rounded (circular) ball. Matlin (2009) argued that input from our eyes contribute largely to visual memory, and so is visual attention. This means that the brain needs to filter out irrelevant information in some circumstances so as to be left with important ones and that helps human beings make decisions. The brain will have to elutriate some information especially in a minimum light area so as to leave us with useful information that will help us make our next decision and that can be experienced largely when waling at night. When one is walking in a dark environment, there are so many obstacles we come across with and the brain is able to filter out some of them so we see only the important ones so as to enable us avoid accidents by seeing the objects ahead of us plainly. Moreover, human beings are quick in remembering seen images than heard voices.
Stenberg (2009) argues that both auditory and visual memories are short-term, but it is perceived that visual memory is eminent. No matter how much turmoil is present at the time, it is insinuated that visual memory does not oscillate at all. It is propounded that when we see, there is an eventuality that information is stored twice, as people tend to start analyzing what they are seeing, therefore both the analyzed information and the one being seen are stored .This is evident by how our visual system gives us a clearer representation of the world. Visual learning has proved to be an effective style of information retention, and this is because stimuli can be scanned by our eyes over and over again. Though it is evident that visual memory is superior to auditory memory, it is not clear whether that too exists in long-term auditory memory (Sternberg, 2009, p.45). Our ability to recall events and their differences lies in the spatial interconnection of the visual scene regardless of the distracting environment (Matlin, 2009). We are able to recall clearest recollection in episodic memory through memory for events. However, various factors can lead to loss of visual memory or impaired visual memory among them diseases, aging and gender (Matlin, 2009).
Visual memory and auditory memory can both be classified as short-term memory. Currently, it is not clear what is superior to the other, but recent research has shown that visual memory is more superior to auditory memory. However, as long as both arguments exist it is important to note that finally what is stored is highly determined by the brain. Actually, an agglomeration of both visual and audio memorization works best under any sequel as the information context is intensified and refurbished hence memory stored is not dissipated faster because both sound and images athwart the brain.