We have already looked at the different stages of memory formation (from perception to sensory memory to short-term memory to long-term memory) in the section on Types of Memory. This section, however, looks at the overall processes involved.

Memory is the ability to encode, store and recall information. The three main processes involved in human memory are therefore encoding, storage and recall (retrieval). Additionally, the process of memory consolidation (which can be considered to be either part of the encoding process or the storage process) is treated here as a separate process in its own right.

Some of the physiology and neurology involved in these processes is highly complex and technical (and some of it still not completely understood), and lies largely outside the remit of this entry-level guide, although at least a general introduction is given here. More information on the architecture of the human brain and the neurological processes by which memory is encoded, stored and recalled can be found in the section on Memory and the Brain.