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Psychology AS Memory revision lesson 3

Memory overview

Amanda Lane

on 15 October 2013

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Transcript of Psychology AS Memory revision lesson 3

Memory can be defined as an active system that receives information from the senses, organizes and alters it as it stores it away, and then retrieves the information from storage
Three Processes of Memory
The three processes are encoding, storage, and retrieval
is the set of mental operations that people perform on sensory information to convert it to a form that is usable in the brain's storage system
The next step in memory is to hold on to the information for some period of time in a process called
is the process of getting information out of storage
Information-Processing Model
Models of Memory
Levels-of-Processing Model
Parallel Distributed Processing Model
Focuses on the way information is processed through the three different systems of memory; assumes that processing of information for memory storage is similar to the way a computer processes memory in a series of three stages
Asserts that information that gets more deeply processed is more likely to be remembered
Focuses on simultaneous processing of information across multiple neural networks
Each of these views of the workings of memory can be seen as speaking to different aspects of memory
Three Memory Systems
The Information-Processing Model:
First stage of memory, the point at which information enters the nervous system through the sensory systems
Sensory Memory
Iconic Memory
Echoic Memory
Visual sensory memory, in which an afterimage or icon will be held in neural form for about one-forth to one-half second
Capacity is everything that can be seen at one time
Information that has just entered iconic memory is pushed out very quickly by new information, a process called masking
The auditory form of sensory memory that takes the form of an echo and lasts for up to 4 seconds
Allows meaningful conversations to occur
If an incoming sensory message is important enough to enter consciousness, that message will move from sensory memory to the next stage of memory, called
short-term memory
Short-Term and Working Memory
This occurs through the process of
selective attention
, the ability to focus on only one stimulus from among all sensory input
Short-term memory
information is held while it is conscious and being used
It holds about seven plus or minus two chunks of information and has a duration of about 30 seconds without rehearsal
Working memory is an active system that processes the information in short-term memory
Thought to consist of three interrelated systems: A central executive that controls and coordinates the other two systems, the visual "sketchpad," and a kind of auditory "recorder"
process of recoding or reorganizing information; if bits of information are combined into meaningful units (chunks), more information can be held in STM
Maintenance rehearsal:
practice of saying some information to be remembered over and over in one's head in order to maintain it in short-term memory; will stay in STM until rehearsal stops
STM can be lost through failure to rehearse, decay, interference by similar information, and the intrusion of new information in the STM system, which pushes older information out
Working memory is more of a
, while short-term memory is more of a
Long-term memory is the system in which memories that are to be kept more or less permanently are stored; is unlimited in capacity and relatively permanent in duration
Long-Term Memory
Long-term Memory
Declarative Memories
Procedural Memories
Semantic memory
Episodic memory
Maintenance rehearsal (repeating things)
is not the most efficient way of putting information into long-term storage because to retrieve the information, one must remember it exactly as it went in
Elaborative rehearsal:
method of transferring information from STM into LTM by making that information meaningful in some way; easiest way to do this is to connect new information with information that is already well-known
Information that is processed more deeply, or processed according to meaning, will be retained and retrieved more efficiently
Memories for skills, habits, and conditioned responses--tying shoes, riding a bicycle, emotional associations, habits, simple conditioned reflexes
Procedural memory seems to be stored in different parts of the brain than declarative memories, most likely the amygdala, cerebellum, and hindbrain
Patients with anterograde amnesia, the inability to form long-term declarative memories due to damage in the hippocampus were taught how to solve puzzle called Tower of Hanoi
Although patients were able to learn the sequence of moves necessary to solve the puzzle, when brought back into the testing room at a later time, they could solve the puzzle even while claiming that they had never seen it before
Provided evidence that procedural memories were formed and stored in a part of the brain separate from the part controlling memories they could no longer form
Tower of Hanoi Study
Procedural memories are more
--memories that are not easily brought into conscious awareness
Memories for general facts and personal experiences
Contains general knowledge, such as knowledge of language and information learned in formal education
Contains personal information not readily available to others, such as daily activities and events--tends to be updated and revised constantly
The updating process is a survival mechanism, because although these memories are useful and necessary on an ongoing basis, no one really needs to remember every little detail of every day
These memories are examples of
explicit memory
, memories that are easily made conscious and brought from long-term storage into short-term memory
LTM is organized in the form of semantic networks, or nodes of related information spreading out from a central piece of knowledge
Semantic Network Model
Assumes that information is stored in the brain in a connected fashion with concepts that are related to each other stored physically closer to each other than concepts that are not highly related
Oddly enough, most people's problems with getting information stored in LTM back out again has to do with
they put that information
Retrieval of Long-Term Memories
Getting it Out
Retrieval Cues
Words, meanings, sounds, and other stimuli that are encoded at the same time as a new memory
Encoding Specificity
State-Dependent Learning
Occurs when physical surroundings become encoded as retrieval cues for specific memories
Occurs when physiological or psychological states become encoded as retrieval cues for memories formed while in those states
Let's go back to maintenance and elaborative rehearsal...
One of the main reasons that maintenance rehearsal is not very effective at getting information into LTM is that saying something over and over gives only one kind of retrieval cue
When people try to remember a piece of information by thinking about what it means and how it fits with what they already know, they are giving themselves cues for meaning
The more cues stored with a piece of information, the easier the retrieval of that information will be
is a type of memory retrieval in which the information to be retrieved must be "pulled" out of memory with few or no cues, whereas
involves matching information with stored images or facts
Recall vs. Recognition
Retrieval Failure
Whenever people find themselves struggling for an answer, recall has failed (at least temporarily)
Tip of the tongue phenomenon:
when an answer seems so very close to the surface of conscious thought that it feels like it's "on the tip of the tongue"
Serial Position Effect
Occurs when the
items and the
items in a list of information are recalled more efficiently than items in the middle of the list
Primacy effect: words at the very beginning of a list tend to be remembered better than those in the middle
This is due to the fact that the first few words, when the listener has nothing in STM to interfere with rehearsal, receive far more rehearsal time than the words in the middle, which are constantly being replaced by the next word on the list
Encoding of some kinds of information requires very little effort to place information into long-term memory
Automatic Encoding
Memory for particularly emotional or traumatic events can lead to the formation of
flashbulb memories
, memories that seem as vivid and detailed as if the person were looking at a snapshot of the event, but that are no more accurate than any other memories
Emotional reactions stimulate the release of hormones that have been shown to enhance the formation of long-term memories
Constructive Processing of Memories
How Reliable Are Memories?
Memory Retrieval Problems
Memories are revised, edited, and altered on an almost continuous basis
Memories are reconstructed from the various bits and pieces of information that have been stored away in different places at the time of encoding in a process called
constructive processing
Each time a memory is retrieved, it may be altered or revised in some way to include new information or to exclude details that may be left out of the new reconstruction
Hindsight bias
occurs when people falsely believe that they knew the outcome of some event because they have included knowledge of the event's true outcome into their memories of the event itself
misinformation effect
refers to the tendency of people who were asked misleading questions or given misleading information to incorporate that information into their memories of the event itself
False-memory syndrome
is the creation of false or inaccurate memories through suggestions, especially when hypnotized
Pezdek and colleagues assert that false memories are more likely to be formed for plausible false events than for implausible ones
People are more likely to believe false events as true memories when the event is plausible and the individual receives feedback that makes the event easier to believe
Ebbinghaus and the Forgetting Curve
Ebbinghaus found that information is mostly lost within 1 hour after learning and then gradually fades away--known as the
curve of forgetting
Found that it is important not to try to "cram" information you want to remember into your brain
Research has found that spacing out one's study sessions, or
distributed practice
, will produce far better retrieval of information studied in this way than does
massed practice
Some "forgetting" is actually a failure to encode information, or
encoding failure
memory trace
is some physical change in the brain, perhaps in a neuron or in the activity between neurons, which occurs when a memory is formed
Memory trace decay theory
assumes the presence of a physical
memory trace
that decays with disuse over time
Interference theory
asserts that forgetting in LTM is more likely due to
Proactive interference: the tendency for older or previously learned material to interfere with the learning (and subsequent retrieval) of new material
Retroactive interference: when newer information interferes with retrieval of older information
Different brain areas are associated with different types of memory
Neuroscience of Memory
Procedural memories:
Short-term memories:
prefrontal cortex and temporal lobes
Semantic and episodic long-term memories:
frontal and temporal lobes (different locations than short-term memories)
Several studies have offered evidence that memory is not simply one physical change, but many: changes in the number of receptor sites, changes in the sensitivity of the synapse through repeated stimulation, and changes in the dendrites and specifically in the proteins within the neurons
consists of the physical changes in neurons that take place during the formation of memory
appears to be responsible for the storage of new long-term memories--if it is removed, the ability to store anything new is completely lost
retrograde amnesia
, memory for the past (prior to the injury) is lost, which can be a loss of only minutes or a loss of several years
Organic Amnesia
Appears that the consolidation process, which is busy making the physical changes to allow new memories to be stored, is disrupted and loses everything that was not already "finished"
anterograde amnesia
, memory for anything new becomes impossible, although old memories may still be retrievable
Infantile amnesia
is the inability to retrieve memories from much before age 3
Most likely due to the implicit nature of infant memory
Explicit memory, which is a more verbal and conscious form of memory, does not develop until about age 2, when the hippocampus is more fully developed and language skills blossom
Recency effect: tendency to remember information at the end of a body of information better than information at the beginning, is usually attributed to the fact that the last word or two was just heard and is still in STM for easy retrieval, with no new words entering to push the most recent word or words out of memory.
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