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When we first learn something, information is processed into the brain to form a neural trace. This trace first enters your sensory memory, and then, if you're paying attention, to your Short Term Memory, or STM. If you keep working to process the information and adapt it correctly it then moves to your Long Term Memory, or LTM. The information processed into your LTM is more or less permanent; with occasional reviewing you will not forget it. The trick is to adapt the information you really need into your LTM as quickly as possible. Your STM has a small capacity and a short duration; you may learn something very quickly, but in 24 hours you will lose 80% of that information. The STM is fast and easily accessed, the LTM is slower but larger.