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How does memory work in the brain?
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We remember through Semantic encoding

Deeper understanding is the most effective way to remember information.

The Argument

Semantic encoding is processing where the meaning of information is encoded, instead of just the visual or auditory information. For example, a semantic encoding of words would involve rehearsal of their meanings, not just the way they look or sound. Semantic encoding engages deeper processing than visual or acoustic encoding and is subsequently linked to better recall. Because it uses a different level of processing, semantic encoding ingrains information more in the brain and allows it to be remembered more accurately and easily.[1]

Counter arguments

Semantic processing is a separate aspect that should not be counted as encoding. The other types of encoding, such as acoustic and visual, involve sensory input. Encoding should be defined as the direct processing of sensory stimuli. Semantic encoding involves meaning and interpretation, which is not a sensory stimulus, so it should not be counted as true encoding.



[P1] Semantic encoding involves processing meaning. [P2] Encoding meaning utilizes deeper processing than encoding sensory information. [P3] Deeper processing leads to better recall. [P4] Semantic encoding is the most important type of memory.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P4] Because it uses deeper processing, semantic encoding is not truly encoding.


This page was last edited on Saturday, 22 Aug 2020 at 10:02 UTC

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