The mystery of encoding information into STM: How does information get from Sensory Memory to Short Term Memory?

Most of the trillions of bits of information in SM are held there just long enough so that they can be processed enough to let our brain decide whether they might be worthy of our attention. So, almost all those bits are soon forgotten. The few bits that we do pay attention to will move on to the next memory: short-term memory (STM). *

*How our attention moves information from SM to STM is complex and mysterious-- how do you decide to pay attention to a thing before you are even consciously aware of that thing? Yet, most of the time, people just assume that the transfer process works perfectly: What we see is what there is. On rare occasions, however, we realize that we must be "seeing" things out of order. For example, surgeons sometimes see a patient bleeding from the cut produced by their scalpel--and then "see" the scalpel make the cut! In those cases, they are not seeing the scalpel make the cut as it is happening but instead are seeing a replay of that event! To experience a case of hearing things out of order, take 40 seconds to try this demonstration.

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