short-term memory


Definition of short-term memory

: memory that involves recall of information for a relatively short time (such as a few seconds) But short-term memory is the primary bottleneck in human information processing. Only a few items—the usual estimate is seven, plus or minus two—can be held in mind at once, and the items are immediately subject to fading or being overwritten.— Steven Pinker abbreviation STM — compare long-term memory, working memory

Examples of short-term memory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Initially this occurs in areas of the brain associated with short-term memory, which leads to cell death and corresponding neurological symptoms, Dr. Tan explains. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "How Exactly Do Different Kinds of Alzheimer’s Medications Work?," 6 Dec. 2018 The idea is to improve the ability to remember these short-term memory events. Bradley J. Fikes,, "Mounting toll of Alzheimer's in lives, dollars in San Diego spelled out in reports," 20 Apr. 2018 As the subjects completed a test of short-term memory, the researchers recorded the electrical signals associated with correct answers. NBC News, "Memory-boosting brain implants are in the works. Would you get one?," 23 Apr. 2018 Among them are long short-term memory (LSTM) based models similar to StreamingPhish's that just use the fully qualified domain name to determine the likelihood of it being connected to a phishing site. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "How to win (or at least not lose) the war on phishing? Enlist machine learning," 7 Aug. 2018 Her son Jay O’Connor said in a recent telephone interview with The Associated Press that his mother, like many who reach their upper 80s, began to have challenges with her short-term memory. Jessica Gresko, The Seattle Times, "AP Exclusive: Sandra Day O’Connor withdraws from public life," 23 Oct. 2018 Alcohol does this by decreasing the electrical activity of the neurons in your hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for the formation of short-term memories. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "What too much alcohol can do to your health," 13 Apr. 2018 Kim has impaired cognition and short-term memory challenges and a series of other medical issues. The Seattle Times, "Washington’s most vulnerable can’t access critical dental care," 23 July 2018 Farrell’s short-term memory was sharper than Maddon’s long-term memory. Mark Gonzales,, "Luke Farrell earns redemption in Cubs' 14-inning win against Mets," 3 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'short-term memory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of short-term memory

1951, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for short-term memory

The first known use of short-term memory was in 1951

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short-term memory


Medical Definition of short-term memory

: memory that involves recall of information for a relatively short time (as a few seconds) The standard view, repeated in almost every psychology textbook, is that the ordinary limit on short-term memory is for seven or so bits of information—the length of a phone number.— Daniel Goleman, The New York Times, 11 Oct. 1994 Short-term memory is closely linked to working memory, and the two terms are often used interchangeably. There is a difference, however: short-term memory refers to the passive storage and recall of information from the immediate past, whereas working memory refers to the active processes involved in manipulating this information.— Jonathan K. Foster, New Scientist, 3 Dec. 2011 abbreviation STM — compare long-term memory

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