SpeeRead - Instruction System for Speed Reading and Effective Learning
Man is endowed with three memory systems:
Each of these three systems has specific functions that contribute decisively to regulating our interactions with the environment, with the other people, and ourselves. Each of these three systems is involved in the rapid reading process and, moreover, is more efficiently optimized and utilized by learning and using fast reading. Here's how!
1. Sensory memory:
It is the memory that facilitates the persistence of a visual representation (or hearing, tactile etc.) for about 100 milliseconds (ms) after the stimulus has disappeared from the receiver. This type of memory works automatically and requires no effort on our part. When we read, we set our attention to a word, we read it, then jump to the next word. Reading is not a continuous process, but one that is done in jumps from one word to the next. Sensory memory provides this time span of approximately 100 ms to detect the stimulus features. After this time, the sensory memory is seriously reducing its capacity and remembering the visual information is more difficult and with loopholes. For normal reading, about 250-300 words per minute (wpm) a word is focused in about 300 ms (6-8 letters and 40 ms/letter). This longer time than the one at which the sensory memory is at maximum capacity leads to the need to recite words and phrases by repeatedly returning the text to understand what we read. In the case of quick reading, the same words of 6-8 letters (average number of words in common words) are read in 60-80 ms (10 ms/letter) enough time to detect the word and to read and understand it, using optimal sensory memory. For this reason optimal text reading starts at 900-1000 words per minute and we can assume that the normal reading of 250-300 wpm is actually a slow and less efficient reading compared to speed reading.
2. Explicit memory:
It is the memory we use day by day, consciously and that can be modeled by us by assimilation of knowledge and working procedures with that knowledge. It is divided into two categories. WM working memory is the memory in which we update at a certain moment a quantity of knowledge and procedures to work with that knowledge. All other information remains stored in the long-term memory LTM and will be used when we need them. The difference between WM and LTM is the level of activation. Everything in WM is information enabled and what's in LTM is information that can be activated, but it is not. In order to be able to operate efficiently with the assimilated knowledge, we need to activate as many of these LTM knowledge and procedures in our WM. This is equivalent to the gradual increase in WM volume. Fast reading is a process of increasing the volume of WM by opereating with the information. The duration of WM is 2-20 seconds and optimal operation is done with 5-9 terms in a sequence. Rapid readings group adjoining words in meaningful constructions that are easier to read and understand when reading a longer text. Information that has been understood translates much easier into LTM from where it can then be updated. WM works optimally and increases its volume when it receives more information to be processed. Rapid reading ensures this accelerated pace and increased volume of information that makes WM gradually increase its volume and ability to process and understand information. Once understood the information is easier and in a larger amount transferred to LTM from where it becomes available at any time, by activation.
3. Implicit memory:
It is the memory in which the habits formed over the life are stored. All processes learned and automated by repetition are stored here. Including the way we learned to read has stuck to this memory and we no longer need to make a conscious effort to remember how it is done. When we open a text we automatically know how to read and act as such. Reading is learned out loud by associating sounds with letters, syllables and words. Reading out loud is done at speeds of about 100-200 wpm. When it comes to reading in mind in the implicit memory the movement of the vocal cords is allready recorded and activated but at a very low level, so we do not make any sound when we read. The imperceptible movement of the vocal cords is responsible for maintaining the reading speed in mind at 250-300 wpm. Experienced readers, who usually read a lot of information, can read, maybe, at 400-500 wpm. However, the optimal reading speed starts at 900-1000 wpm. By learning to read fast also this way of reading is gradually automated and stored in the implicit memory. From there it can be called at any time because it will not be forgotten. Just as we have never forgot to read the way we learned in primary classes. All we have to do, to enrich the implicit memory with this new skill, is to repeat it enough to become an automatism for us.
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