The Influences of Memory and Language on Cognition


What is memory?  

Memory is the ability to encode, store, retain and recall information pertaining to past experiences.  Memory is crucial because it enhances the learning process, and enhances the adaptation to the past experiences. This enables people to survive in various environments. In fact, memory enables people to relate better to the environment because of the judgment of the environment on the basis of both past and current situations.  According to Stadler, Roedigger III, & McDermott (1999), memory is the combination of past experiences, which enhances the creation of good relations between people. The ability to remember past experiences is considered memory. The past experience, in this case, refers to the impressions, skills learned, facts or habits. In a physiological sense, memory is a structure of encoded neural networking within the brain. The reconstruction of past experience is crucial in the analysis of memory because the reconstruction of memory enhances the interpretation and relating of the past experience to the current situations. 

Memory entails the entire process of interaction between various elements of the brain in the course of storing, retention, recall and processing of the information. The ability to remember information is one of the greatest functions of the brain because it is a complex process. Memory makes life worth-while because it is the basis for relating to the physical environment. All the senses of an individual are a pivotal role in the process of memory. Sight, taste, smell, touch and hearing are essential in the memorizing of an issue. Any experiences, which engages any of the senses is easily stored in the brain for future reference. According to Whitehurst & Zimmerman (2011), the brain is critical in memory because the brain selects information to send to the short-term memory and long-term memory. The experiences involving the six senses are stored in the long-term memory while the usual and common experiences are stored in the short-term memory. Memory is instrumental in the learning process because it enhances the remembrance of information, which is a determination of the success of the learning process. 

According to Kemper, Herman, and Lian (2003), memory can be impaired by the stress hormones such as the cortisol, which is released in case of sleep disturbance, fatigue and jet lag. The process of learning and memory are closely related because they are interdependent. Learning cannot take place without the involvement of memory, and memory cannot be achieved without learning. In fact, memory is critical because even speech entails memory and no learning that can occur without the verbal transfer of knowledge. Memory is instrumental in planning for the future and the taking stock of past events in an objective manner. For this reason, memory is the reason for survival and development of various species.  It is the basis upon which people operate on a daily basis because the neural functioning is anchored on memory.  The development of memory is a process, which begins at birth and end when a person dies. 

Memory is vital because it helps people to perform various duties. For instance, when people master certain activities, they can perform the activities with minimal difficulties. This is because the skills have been captured in the long-term memory. Gallo and Roedigger III (2002) assert that the intuitive operations of an individual are enhanced by memory, and there are various types of memories including the implicit memory, procedural memory, semantic memory, and declarative memory. The various memories serve various purposes. For instance, implicit memory is unconscious memory, which helps a person to recollect information without necessarily thinking about the information. Procedure memory enhances the operationalization of motor skills. Episodic memory is responsible for the recall of certain events while semantic memory involves the recall of common names and places.                      

What is psycholinguistics?  

Psycholinguistics refers to the combination of the psychological and the neurological elements, which enhance the acquisition, usage and understanding of language. The processing of language is a complex process; hence psycholinguistics covers all the aspects of the brain with regard to the study of language. Cognition and memory are crucial in the learning of language. The manner in which the brain processes language is vital based on a person’s cognitive ability. According to Fromkin (1973, 1984), the process of psycholinguistics underscores the involvement of an individual’s psychological make-up in the learning of language, and phonetics. Linguistics is a complex subject and requires time for learning. In this regard, the learning of language is successive through the engagement of cognitive skills (Radvansky & Ashcraft, 2016). For this reason, psycholinguistics is crucial in the establishment of the best learning of language in any institution. The acquisition of knowledge by any individuals involves the coordination between the neural systems and the psychology of a person. 

The mind is crucial in the learning of a language because it helps in the determination of the usage of the language. The information theory helps in explaining psycholinguistics. The understanding of language requires the engagement of the mind; hence the achievement of psycholinguistics. According to Burke and Shafto (2004), the field of psycholinguistics encompasses the cognitive processes, which processes enhance the generation of grammatical interpretation of the text. The field helps in the objective assessment of the grammatical nature of sentences. The development of psycholinguistics enhances the ability to learn in children. However, the process of psycholinguistics is possible through the quantitative methods as opposed to naturalistic observation methods. Psycholinguistics is a subject, which is interdisciplinary given its nature. The concept covers the psychological and the linguistics fields. 

The field of psycholinguistics also borders the speech-making process. Speech-making involves the cognitive skills and the language mastery of an individual (Radvansky & Ashcraft, 2016). For this reason, psycholinguistics accrues many benefits to an individual. It is for this reason that the concept is indispensable in the learning process. The alignment of the linguistic acumen and cognitive ability of an individual is crucial in various professions, especially the teaching profession (Altarriba & Isurin, 2013). The teachers heavily rely on the mastery of psycholinguistics to share knowledge with students. The concept enables the teachers to assess and monitor the learners successfully. This enhances quick learning among students. The field of psycholinguistics forms part of the larger cognitive science (Radvansky & Ashcraft, 2016). The study of psycholinguistics is vital because it elucidates the mental processes, which ensure in the course of learning and actual usage of language. The basis on language in psycholinguistics underscores the importance of the field in the survival of the human species. Language is critical in any person’s life because it enables an individual to communicate and acquire knowledge. 

The field of psycholinguistic is also vital because it enhances the generation of new knowledge, and innovation, in various fields. Communication is the essence of every development in any discipline. Psycholinguistics is a theoretical framework, which underscores the basics of efficient communication and overall learning. The learning of language is one of the greatest achievements for the success of a person. For instance, the Blacks established slang language for survival; hence they were in danger of killing by the Khu Klux gangs. The concept of psycholinguistics is the pillar of etymology because it basically involves the study of knowledge (Albert, Connor, & Obler, 2010). For instance, the field entails the establishment of the meaning of words, sentence and discourse. The mastery of discourse meaning is the basis of all communication. The composition of words and sentence to form the desired speech, songs, and rhythm, is a manifestation of the significance of psycholinguistics. Therefore, the use of language is a result of the field of psycholinguistics. The field underscores the fact that sound, word, and sentence structure are indispensable in language processing. 

Language processing is one of the aspects, which form a person’s maturity and development in life. Psycholinguistics enables persons to successfully align language processing to other aspects of their being to achieve a wholesome person. The comprehension of life is not a mean feat because of the commitment and determination required to ensure that language understanding and communication is achieved. The field of psycholinguistic helps a person to identify the most appropriate knowledge language. This is vital because it underscores the priority of a person’s learning process. There are many languages although only some languages meet the needs of different people doing different periods of their lifetime. In this case, the requirement of explicit knowledge determines the need for the use of certain language knowledge. Subsequently, a language learner must establish the particular cognitive processes involved in the chosen language. The phonetic of different languages are different; hence the need for the identification of the specific cognitive processes for a given language. The understanding of a lecture or book discourse is critical; hence the need for the understanding of an appropriate language. In these cases, cognitive processes encompass the perception, thinking and the memory and learning of a person (Radvansky & Ashcraft, 2016).        

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How is psycholinguistics different than linguistics? 

There are many differences between psycholinguistics and linguistics. According to Altarriba & Isurin (2013), linguistics is the study of language while psycholinguistics is the study of the production of language through the spoken, written and the signed format of language. The other distinction between the two fields is that cognitive linguistics does not consider language to be modular in the brain. Additionally, the linguistics discipline does not recognize the importance of the separation of language into morphological and semantic makeup. Linguistics does not consider the serration of language into semantic and syntax to be important as in the case of psycholinguistics. On the other hand, psycholinguistics considers language as a module in the brain besides upholding the separation between language and the phonetic, syntax and semantics. The field of psycholinguist also provides the sequence of various tenets of language, syntax, pragmatics, semantics, and morphology. The field of psycholinguistics recognizes the difference between syntax and semantics.

However, psycholinguistics and cognitive linguistics are similar in the sense that both deal with the basic relationship between language and the mind. According to Radvansky & Ashcraft (2016), cognitive linguistics deals with language’s function in the mind while psycholinguistics deals with the mind’s moderation of the language work. The field of psycholinguistics shows the extent to which the understanding of language is affected by difference sphere of the brain. However, linguistics deals with the perception of different words by different speakers. Radvansky & Ashcraft (2016) add that cognitive linguistics considers language to be integrated into other cognitive functions of a person, which includes the ability to organize items, and the processing of social interactions. Conversely, psycholinguistics considers language in isolation, and it is independent of other cognitive functions in the brain, which manifest in some people having perfect cognitive functions yet have a substantial limitation in language proficiency. On the other hand, some people have compromised cognitive abilities but have strong linguistic abilities.

 In this regard, there is a need to consider language as a separate element from other cognitive functions.  In fact, some people have poor performance in science-based subjects while they have the best performance in language subjects such as literature. This is a manifestation of the fact that psycholinguistics provides a correct view pertaining to the language study. The methodologies used in the cognitive linguistics and psycholinguistics are considerably different although the two disciplines share some methods in the gathering and analysis of data. According to Loftus (1997) both psycholinguistics and linguistics use recordings and transcripts as a source of information for analysis, and they utilize statistical analysis of language in the course of the investigation of the certain linguistic phenomenon. In fact, both methods utilize data obtained from experiments and recordings for the study of linguistics. The field of psycholinguistics applies a considerably different approach to the gathering of information from experiments. The psycholinguistics field requires that the researcher directly provide information pertaining to the phenomenon under study. 

The approach used by the psycholinguistics is vital because the psycholinguistic researchers can gather adequate information on the grammaticality of the words and sentences used in a given setting. The other difference between linguist and psycholinguistics is that linguistics deal with many aspects of language while psycholinguistics encompasses language processing. Psycholinguistics involves the examination of the brain interpretation of spoken language (Watkins & Paus, 2004). In addition, psycholinguistics also involves the controlling of the reduction of speech besides the study of the acquisition of language among people with handicaps in intellectual abilities. Linguistics involves the interpretation of language while psycholinguistics underscores the process of deciphering meaning from vocabulary and grammatical structures. According to Whitehurst & Zimmerman (2011), linguistics can be both applied and theoretical while psycholinguistics is can only be applied. 

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What is cognition?  

Cognition is a set of mental processes involving the acquiring storage, manipulation and retrieval of information. The concept underscores the understanding of various activities at various ages. The concept of cognition encompasses different functions subject to the brain structure. The subject is crucial in gaining an understanding of the functioning of the brain. According to Loftus (1997), the concept of cognition enhances the testing, measuring and monitoring of the cognitive performance in various life spans. This is important, especially in the healthcare where there is a need for the improvement of the quality of life of people and the subsequent reduction of the cost incurred in the recovery process. The assessment of the cognitive ability of an individual helps in the determination of the attention required for a particular patient. In fact, it is this concept that is used in the determination of the patients who require urgent treatment.  The process of cognition requires the input of experience senses and thought (Capron, 2017). The concept of cognition is vital because it helps in the objectives assessment of someone’s behavior subject to the thought process.

 For this reason, the process is critical to the study of behavior, a basic requirement in various disciplines. Cognition is the basis of life because it entails the ability to perceive stimuli and react. The gaining of understanding and processing of information underscores cognition. In fact, even the storage and retrieval of information is the culmination of cognition. According to Albert, Connor, and Obler (2010), the process of decision making is a manifestation of the cognitive power of an individual. The prompt response of an individual in various situations also underscores cognition. The ability of a person to perceive and make objective judgment underscores cognition. The process of cognition is so critical to a person’s normal life given that the process enables a person to perceive and relate to their environment correctly. In this case, the environment involves people, the natural environment and the socio-economic factors. The correct perception of issues is the manifestation of the success of cognition in life. The learning of language is one of the manifestations of the power of cognition (Radvansky & Ashcraft, 2016). The process of cognition is a complex process because it involves many processes, yet only some of the process is manifest in the conscious mind of a person. Radvansky & Ashcraft, 2016) adds that the process is enhanced by the complex connections, 10000 connections, of nerve cells, neurons. The ability to assess cognition is the basis upon which certain diseases such as Alzheimer’s are treated.             

What roles do memory and psycholinguistics play in cognition? 

Memory plays a pivotal role in cognition. First, memory enables recalling of information, formation and updating of experiences in a bid to make sense of the world. Memory and psycholinguistics enable people to navigate through the social environment. The social environment is the most complex because it involves communication, interaction, the creation of relationships and the practice of virtues in a bid to win appeal among people. The social world is also a determinant of reliable memory and successive psycholinguists. According to Altarriba and Isurin (2013), psycholinguistic plays a pivotal role in the survival of people in a social environment given the unpredictable nature of a social environment. The need for coexistence among people makes psycholinguists the best practice in society. The ability to recall events and experiences is a manifestation of intellectual power and possession of cognitive power. Cognition entails the acquisition, storage, manipulation and retrieval of information; hence memory plays a pivotal role in the recalling of information. The process of cognition also involves the understanding of the environment; thus psycholinguistic comes in handy in enabling an individual to understand their environment accurately. 

According to Whitehurst and Zimmerman (2011), adaptive social recognition is a culmination of good memory and psycholinguistics. The integration of personal and interpersonal information is a culmination of psycholinguistics. In fact, social intelligence is a critical aspect of cognition; thus psycholinguistics is helpful in the coexistence of people. The integration of personal and interpersonal information is critical in the formation of social behavior. This is important in the conditioning of behavior among mental health patients. Memory is also crucial because it helps in the development of nostalgia. Nostalgia is important for a person because it improves mood and enhances social interactions. Visual and verbal memories are crucial in the relating of ideas, which is crucial in academic assessment tests. Memory enhances the learning process because the brain is conditioned to remember and relate ideas, which is a source of knowledge.          

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