Complete “Sensory Memory” lab on the ZAPs site.After comple…

Complete “Sensory Memory” lab on the ZAPs site. After completing, consider your experience and what you have learned about sensory memory.  Describe your experience with this lab and discuss how it helped you understand sensory memory.


Sensory memory is the initial stage of memory processing that involves the temporary storage of sensory information. This type of memory allows us to retain sensory impressions for a brief period of time before they either fade away or are transferred to higher levels of memory. The “Sensory Memory” lab on the ZAPs site provides a hands-on experience that helps in understanding the characteristics and limitations of sensory memory. In this lab, participants are presented with visual stimuli and are prompted to recall specific details about the stimuli, thus assessing the capabilities of sensory memory.

Experience with the Lab

In taking part in the “Sensory Memory” lab on the ZAPs site, I was exposed to a series of visual stimuli presented in a rapid manner. These stimuli varied from letters and numbers to shapes and patterns. Each stimulus was displayed for a very short period of time, giving me only a fraction of a second to process the information. After the presentation of the stimuli, I was asked to recall specific details such as the placement of a specific shape within a pattern or the exact order of letters or numbers.

My experience with the lab was challenging, to say the least. The rapid presentation of the stimuli made it difficult to retain the information in working memory, and I often found myself struggling to accurately recall the details. Sometimes I was able to recall some general features of the stimuli, but the exact details were often forgotten or distorted.

The limited capacity and duration of sensory memory became apparent as I quickly realized that I could not rely on my working memory alone to accurately recall the details presented. Instead, I had to rely on a process called “iconic memory”, which is a type of sensory memory that specifically deals with visual information. This process allowed me to briefly retain the visual stimuli in my mind, even after they were no longer physically present.

Understanding Sensory Memory

The “Sensory Memory” lab on the ZAPs site provided valuable insight into the nature of sensory memory. One important aspect that stood out is the limited capacity of sensory memory. The lab demonstrated that sensory memory can only hold a small amount of information at any given moment. For example, when presented with a series of letters or numbers, I could only retain a few of them in my mind before they started to fade away. This finding is consistent with research on iconic memory, which suggests that we can typically hold around four to five items in our visual memory at once.

Additionally, the lab highlighted the brief duration of sensory memory. The visual stimuli presented were only displayed for a fraction of a second, and I had to rely on my iconic memory to retain the information. This short duration reflects the transient nature of sensory memory and its purpose of providing a temporary buffer for incoming sensory information.

Another important aspect of sensory memory that the lab illuminated is the potential for information to be quickly forgotten or distorted. Due to the rapid nature of the stimuli and the limited time I had to process them, I often found that the details of the stimuli were either forgotten completely or inaccurately recalled. This phenomenon, known as “decay or displacement”, suggests that sensory memory is susceptible to interference from subsequent stimuli or simply fades away over time.


The “Sensory Memory” lab on the ZAPs site provided a valuable hands-on experience that helped to deepen my understanding of sensory memory. Through the rapid presentation of visual stimuli and the subsequent recall tasks, I was able to observe firsthand the limited capacity, short duration, and potential for forgetting or distortion within sensory memory. This lab helped to solidify the theoretical knowledge I had about sensory memory and provided a practical application for studying this important aspect of human cognition.