Copyright by Jeff Johnson

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Chapter 7. Our Attention is Limited; Our Memory is Imperfect

Just as the human visual system has strengths and weaknesses, so does human memory. This chapter describes some of those strengths and weaknesses as background for understanding how we can design interactive systems to support and augment human memory rather than burdening or confusing it. We will start with an overview of how memory works.

Short vs. Long-Term Memory

Psychologists historically have distinguished short-term memory from long-term memory. Short-term memory covers situations in which information is retained for very short intervals ranging from a fraction of a second up to several seconds—perhaps as long as a minute. Long-term memory covers situations in which information ...

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