*parallel vs. serial processing

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Definition

Parallel Processing is when the mind is processing multiple things at one time. Serial Processing, in contrast, is when the mind is processing one thing at a time in a series.


Significance

The significance behind these two types of processes is that with parallel processing, our minds are able to process objects we see in the outside environment and compare them simultaneously with multiple prototypes, or images stored in our long-term memory. As a result, parallel processing matches up what we observe to the closest prototype stored in our memory. Essentially, the elements of sensory memory (observations in the environment) are matched up to long-term memory representations (prototypes) via parallel processing.