Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behavior


The three main components of the memory are sensory, short term, and long term memory. In this essay, I shall concentrate on how the information travels in the three components and how the brain process this information.

I will as well discuss the prototype theory of categorization, analyzing some of the limitations that are associated with this theory, and explain the pandemonium model of word recognition.

This paper will generally observe the concept of the brain component and how the brain works. The essay will also evaluate the mentioned prototype theory in order to understand the functioning of the brain in a more detailed way.

Further, the paper shall also discuss the pandemonium model and how it is constructed using the units called the demons.

The concept of “memory” using multi-store and the working memory models

Gross (2001) indicated that the sensory register is where unprocessed information goes. This part of the brain has a large capacity, but the information is stored there for a short time. This is where the information is recorded first. They are different types of memory that pass through sensory memory.

An example is an iconic memory, which is the brief visual information interpreted by the visual system. The other one is the echoic memory, which is a mental eco that is recorded after it is heard. Since this information is stored for a short time, for it to be remembered, it must be passed to the working memory.

Working memory is also known as short term memory. According to Gregory (1987), the information stays in this memory as it is being processed. The short term memory does not hold information for a long time because it has limited capacity.

Attention is very important in this component since it is very hard for someone to remember something if he/she has not paid attention to it. It contains a category known as maintenance rehearsal. This is whereby the information is repeated for some time. Thus it will be kept fresh in one’s memory.

After the information passes through the working memory, it now passes to the final component of the brain that is the long term memory. This part has a huge capacity for storing the information, and the information can be stored for a long time, usually indefinite. It is made use of when one connects the information with something he already knows.

How the Brain Attends To and Processes Information

The brain, after receiving the information it needs to attend to it and process it. The human brain contains very many nerve cells, also known as the neurons. Each neuron is connected to other neurons by synapses. This network of neurons is what forms the information processing system.

When the brain is aroused, it realizes the nitric oxide that helps the brain to perform the more complex operation at the first step of processing the information.

Sensory information that is received from the ears, eyes, or skin first goes to the thalamus, which acts as the gate, and then the information flows to the cortex, the thinking part of the brain. The information that is sent to the thalamus has got two inputs: the input from the eyes and the feedback from the cortex.

Prototype Theory of Categorization

The prototype theory emerged in the 1970s, and it tried to explain the lexical concept C. it stated that the lexical C does not have a definite structure but has a probabilistic one. If something falls under C, it should have enough properties of the C’s constituents.

Sternberg (2002) stated that the prototype theory has its philosophical roots in Wittgenstein’s view that everything that is covered by a term usually shares a family resemblance. On the prototype, theory, categorization is taken as a similar comparison process. The two have a number of constitutes that they hold in common. This theory has explained several psychological phenomena and explains why definitions are too hard to produce.

The prototype theory of categorization has got several limitations. In this essay, some of these limitations are discussed. One of the limitations is that the analysis of categorization is effective for quick and unreflective judgment. For example, if a dog undertook surgery and made to look like a raccoon, then people are asked if it’s a dog or a raccoon.

They will always answer it is a dog. The other limitation is that these structures are more concern with composition. It was observed that when the prototype structures have got emergent properties rather than those of the prototype property, an example here is the pet fish, which has got bright colors, which are no basis in the prototype structure for either pet or fish.

The Pandemonium Model for Word Recognition

Pandemonium model of word recognition was discovered as the psychologist tried to come up with a model that will allow interaction of information from different sources that included word meaning, letter shape, and letter structure.

This model was discovered by Selfridges. He explained that letters are identified using their component features. It assumed a number of units known as demons, and each had its own detection task. Selfridges concluded that it was possible for all the units to be combined together so as to come up with a working pattern of the recognition device.

A good example is when one is reading a word. The lowest level of the demon will concentrate on knowing the strokes that make up the letters. This demon then gives the message to the demon above it, which then recognizes different types of strokes and then comes up with the full letter.

This demon may be at that time, recognizing only the vertical and horizontal strokes. If the diagonal or circular stroke appears, then this demon will be interrupted. Once it recognizes the letter, it now shouts higher to the demon that is of the higher level that would represent the known words.

Gross (2001) explains further that the model tries to explain how one is able to recognize letters and come up with the words that are made up from these letters.

By understanding various strokes that make up these letters, the person is able to distinguish the letters. Like letter H and A, the demons have to understand the vertical strokes and the horizontal, those that face right and those that face left.


In conclusion, the brain is a very active part of human beings. The brain has got various components that the information passes through so that the information can be recorded and interpolated. It passes through the three components the sensory, the short memory, and the large memory.

This information is then processed by the same brain and then inter plated. The most interesting part about the brain its how it is able to interpolate the information and give an explanation. Using the prototype theory, we have seen how it works, and also the pandemonium model explains how the brain recognizes several items and words.


Gregory, R 1987, (Ed). , The Oxford Companion to the mind, Oxford University Press, London.

Gross, R, 2001, (Ed) Psychology: The science of mind and behavior, Holder Arnold Publisher, New York.

Sternberg, R, 2002 Cognitive Psychology, Wadsworth Publishing, London.

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