Long Term Memory Recall in Association with iOS Finder Application 
A research briefing exploring human and machine interaction through the incorporation of human brain functionality inhibition into the iOS Finder Application. 
All Macintosh operating systems have a default file management system and graphical user interface shell known as Finder. Finder is responsible for the user management of files, as well as launching other applications. It is designed to support long-term memory, as well as accommodate the limitations of working memory. The use of long-term memory is utilized within the human-computer interaction between the user and the Macintosh iOS Finder Application through explicit memory and associative priming. 
This application was originally introduced with the first Macintosh computer featuring a smiling computer screen icon, known as the “Happy Mac” logo. Overall, the application functions in a cohesive manner to Apple’s Safari browser. Finder uses tabs to view multiple folders and can be separated to show multiple windows. It also features “back” and “forward” arrow buttons to move between windows in recent interface history. In the modern version of this tool, Finder uses macOS application programming interface graphics to display previews of a range of files. The Quick Look feature allows users to preview the files without opening a separate application to allow files to be quickly examined simply by pressing the spacebar. The Spotlight Search function allows the user to search the entire computer software database, the internet, and externally attached hard drives simultaneously through the simple shortcut of “Command + Spacebar”. All of these features create a cohesive design system that is implemented throughout the Macintosh Big Sur iOS software, creating a smooth transition between applications for the user. 
Badiu, of the Nielsen Norman Group, refers to recognition in interfaces through the example of a menu system, “…the computer shows you the available commands, and you recognize the one you want.”. Notice the cohesivity of the “exit,” “minimize,” and “expand” options consistent placement in the top right corner throughout iOS applications. This in relation to the user’s experience with similar applications, icon placement, and general navigation, allows the user to store these elements of a design system within their long-term memory.
Long-term memory is the stage within the Atkinson-Shiffrin memory model that indefinitely holds informative knowledge subcategorized as explicit or implicit memory. Recent findings on memory and brain function indicate that a single memory system linked through perception unites the short- and long-term memory functions within the human brain. (Jonides et al., 2008) The hippocampus plays an important role in long-term memory, being the controlling mechanism, which directs neural rewiring to document memories into the brain’s wiring. Additionally, the amygdala specializes in storing memories of emotionally intense, threatening situations. 
Explicit memories refer to all memories that are consciously available to the individual and are subcategorized into semantic, episodic, and autobiographical memory. Semantic memories are composed of facts and relationships such as, “yellow is a color,” and “3+2=5.” Episodic memories are records of past events, such as this morning’s breakfast, or what happened at work yesterday. Similar to episodic, autobiographical memory refers to events and experiences within an individual’s life, “however it differs in that it only contains those experiences that directly pertain to the individual” (Conway and Pleydell-Pearce, 261). Semantic, episodic, and autobiographical memory are all utilized simultaneously by the human brain in order to create and recall memories as humans go through daily activities. 
Although it is natural to compartmentalize these differing aspects of memory, memory is not located in a specific area of the brain, but simultaneously conjured through the use of all of these types of memory. Concerning iOS Finder, the user utilizes semantic memory to generate what they are going to type into the “Spotlight Search” function (e.g. “resume_2020”), while episodic memory is used to recall the meeting with a hiring manager, and procedural memory (a form of implicit memory) is being used to guide the user as they operate the keyboard and spell out the words in their search. Moreover, the iOS Finder application supports these types of memory. Finder supports semantic memory through data retrieval and maintaining a memory bank of files. It supports episodic memory by organizing material based on “date modified” and showing the user files that they have saved and shared. It additionally supports procedural through the auto-completion feature. An example of this auto-completion feature would be if the user were to type in the letter “G”, Finder would use auto-completion to perhaps provide the user with a list of responses, included for example, “Google Chrome”. 
The alternative to explicit memory is implicit memory (or procedural memory) refers to action sequences such as how to drive a car or how to use a toaster. These procedural memories are skills advanced through repetition of use. Inside of the brain, these memories are held within the striatum and other parts of the basal ganglia. Procedural memory is theorized to be non-declarative or unconscious memory. In addition to that, priming and non-associative learning are also considered to be non-declarative memory. 
Priming is the occurrence of encountering a stimulus which then triggers the response to a subsequent stimulus without conscious effort or intention. An example of priming, more specifically associative priming, would be word association. As explained by Almaraz-Espinoza and Grider, “semantically related word primes were effective only when the word prime and picture targets were associatively related. They defined semantically related primes as being from the same category as the target whereas associative priming related pairs were defined as being from the same category and eliciting the target in a verbal word association test (e.g., the prime "dog" elicits the target "cat" but not the target "lion" as an associate).” (5) A similar effect, known as context priming, functions by using a context to prepare the brain to speed up the completion of a task that is likely to manifest in that context. An example of this was conducted through a research study by Stanovich and West, to theorize on an individual's ability to use contextual priming within reading written text. This study showed that grammar and vocabulary of a sentence provide clues for the individual to anticipate what words will occur later in the sentence.  
Similarly, through human-computer interaction, associative priming is the primary method for computer-output with the use of iOS Finder. This form of procedural memory was described prior through the example of the Finder auto-completion feature, however, it functions in a multitude of ways. Through human input, the application is prompted to produce a response, the computer application then outputs through word association files, folders, and applications that match or are related. If the user were to type in “resume”, the Finder application produces a multitude of responses ranging from files with the term in the title, word definitions, developer functions, correspondences containing the term, to Siri suggested websites. Although incredibly responsive, this mass influx of stimuli puts a strain on the user’s working memory. 
In addition to the Atkinson-Shiffrin memory model, Baddeley’s model for working memory was proposed later in 1974. This theory suggested the division of short-term memory into two slave systems for different types of input items and a central executive supervising what enters and exits those systems. Working memory is known to maintain a severely limited capacity, seven (plus or minus two) blips of information, so an individual’s attention is highly focused and selective. 
Working memory is a key element in the design of a search bar function within an interface, in the case of iOS Finder, Spotlight Search. When a user enters a search term, starts the search, and then begins to review the results, the user is still required to know the original search terms to complete the task. When results appear, the user begins to scan, and their attention naturally fades from the terms they just typed and toward the results of the search. Therefore, a user is likely to drop the search terms that they just typed from their working memory for more pressing information. To accommodate for the minimal space within the user’s working memory, the design of the interface must include the original search terms the user input into the computer. 
Through Finder, the human-computer interactions are at the will of the user.  Semantic, episodic, and procedural memory subcategories are all utilized when performing a task and are also supported through functions built into the application. Finder simultaneously functions as the “Spotlight Search” for the internet, the entire computer, and it’s containing software. Meaning, it’s overall programming closely mirrors that of the human brain’s association priming. The user is also benefited through the accommodations by Finder to their working memory. As the application retrieves data, it maintains the original search terms within visibility to ensure the user can complete their task as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Finder functions as an essential component of the Macintosh operating system and is accessible to any and all users of iOS software. Meaning, the target audience of this product is truly any user of an Apple Macbook, desktop computer or machine running the current iOS software. The design of this component is intended to meet the needs of an exceptionally wide audience. Therefore, the generally simplistic design can accommodate the needs of all users. 
Overall, this application is designed for functionality and efficiency for all Macintosh users and cohesion between the additional applications within the iOS Big Sur operating system. The iOS Finder application functions allow the user to access information easily while supporting their long-term memory functions as well as accommodating the limitations of working memory within the human brain.
Works Cited
Atkinson, Richard C., and Richard M. Shiffrin. Human Memory: a Proposed System and Its Control Processes. Academic Press, 1968. 
Baddeley, Alan D., and Graham Hitch. “Working Memory.” Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 1974, pp. 47–89., doi:10.1016/s0079-7421(08)60452-1. 
Budiu, Raluca. “Memory Recognition and Recall in User Interfaces.” Nielsen Norman Group, 6 July 2014, www.nngroup.com/articles/recognition-and-recall/. 
Conway, Martin A., and Christopher W. Pleydell-Pearce. “The Construction of Autobiographical Memories in the Self-Memory System.” Psychological Review, vol. 107, no. 2, 2000, pp. 261–288., doi:10.1037/0033-295x.107.2.261. 
Jonides, John, et al. “The Mind and Brain of Short-Term Memory.” Annual Review of Psychology, vol. 59, no. 1, 2008, pp. 193–224., doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.59.103006.093615. 
Matsukawa, Junko, et al. “Conceptual versus Perceptual Priming in Incomplete Picture Identification.” Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, vol. 34, no. 6, 2005, pp. 1–5., doi:10.1007/s10936-005-9162-5. 
“Our Attention Is Limited; Our Memory Is Imperfect.” DESIGNING WITH THE MIND IN MIND: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Guidelines, by JEFF JOHNSON, MORGAN KAUFMANN PUBLISHER, 2020, pp. 103–124. 
Stanovich, Keith E., and Richard F. West. “On Priming by a Sentence Context.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, vol. 112, no. 1, 1983, pp. 1–36., doi:10.1037/0096-3445.112.1.1.