Sensory memory, also referred to as fleeting memory, is often consolidated as short-term memory in the instances when we want to remember previous events we have experienced. When it comes to “echoic memory,” it refers to the sensory memory we have of the things we hear and speak. This can include verbal cues, songs, sounds, or other auditory information. In simple words, your sensory memory is a form of echoic memory. Keep reading to learn more!
The Holding Tank
In the case of visual memory, your eyes can scan stimuli repeatedly. But in the case of auditory memory, this is not possible. For instance, you can visually read and repeat a line over and over again while reading a magazine which is not possible while listening to the radio.
Your echoic memory works on a holding tank concept, where a sound remains unprocessed until and unless the following sound is heard. It only becomes meaningful for the human brain when the sound is heard.
This “holding tank” can store large amounts of auditory information in the form of sound for a very short period of time, which is approximately 3-4 seconds.
Loss of Echoic Memory
There are various cases where the echoic memory in adults or children gets damaged. It is mainly because of some medical conditions.
Problems in children
Children suffering from impairment of echoic memory face speech impairments, poor development of language, and also become communication deficit in the future.
The most common cause behind the loss of echoic memory is a stroke. There are various strokes that affect the sensory system and ultimately lead to impairment of memory. This condition in children can be improved with the help of audio books and therapy. For children, ginkgo biloba is of great help.
Problems in adults
The problems faced by adults are similar to the problems faced by children. However, in adults, the recovery of echoic memory becomes tough due to age. It is of great importance to start with therapy as soon as someone starts to notice problems.
If you are facing problems in memorizing events, it is most likely the problem of your overall memory system.