Information Processing Theory

Information Processing


Dawn Sardone

Everything we experience in life goes through some type of information processing. Our brains are constantly processing information. Everything we see, hear, and smell is filtered through our brains. Whether or not we remember these things through time is determined by how far the information gets processed.

There are different ideas regarding how our brain processes information; however, the core information processing theory remains relatively the same. Information has to cycle through different areas of the brain before it can be stored long term. The brain uses the information processing theory as a method of taking raw information we take in from touch, sight, taste, etc, and turning it into something more meaningful. The information processing theory includes sensory register, working memory, and then long-term memory.

The first stage in the information processing theory is sensory register. This refers to the intake of information. This is the part where we take in information through all of our senses. During this initial stage the information is raw, meaning we have not processed the information enough to understand it yet. Information is held in this stage for only a few seconds at most. It is held just long enough to determine if it should be processed into the working memory or discarded.

In order for information to move from the sensory register stage to the next stage the information has to be thought about. The attention a person pays to this information is critical to move it through the information processing model. If you are not paying attention to something you touch, or hear in the background, chances are high that you will not move this information to the next stage of processing. However, if I am intently paying attention to a person that is speaking to me, or an object I am touching, then that information will move to the working memory.

Working memory is the mechanism in...