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Chapter 9

Chapter 9. Memory. Table of Contents. Exit. Memory: Some Key Terms . Memory: Active system that stores, organizes, alters, and recovers (retrieves) information Encoding: Converting information into a useable form Storage: Holding this information in memory

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Chapter 9

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  1. Chapter 9 Memory Table of Contents Exit

  2. Memory: Some Key Terms • Memory: Active system that stores, organizes, alters, and recovers (retrieves) information • Encoding: Converting information into a useable form • Storage: Holding this information in memory • Retrieval: Taking memories out of storage Table of Contents Exit

  3. Fig. 9.1 In some ways, a computer acts like a mechanical memory system. Both systems process information, and both allow encoding, storage, and retrieval of data. Table of Contents Exit

  4. Sensory Memory • Storing an exact copy of incoming information for a few seconds (either what is seen or heard); the first stage of memory • Icon: A fleeting mental image or visual representation • Echo: After a sound is heard, a brief continuation of the activity in the auditory system Table of Contents Exit

  5. Short-Term Memory (STM) • Storing small amounts of information briefly • Working Memory: Part of STM; like a mental “scratchpad” • Selective Attention: Focusing (voluntarily) on a selected portion of sensory input (e.g., selective hearing) • Phonetically: Storing information by sound; how most things are stored in STM • Very sensitive to interruption or interference Table of Contents Exit

  6. Long-Term Memory (LTM) • Storing information relatively permanently • Stored on basis of meaning and importance Table of Contents Exit

  7. Fig. 9.2 Remembering is thought to involve at least three steps. Incoming information is first held for a second or two by sensory memory. Information selected by attention is then transferred to temporary storage in short-term memory. If new information is not rapidly encoded, or rehearsed, it is forgotten. If it is transferred to long-term memory, it becomes relatively permanent, although retrieving it may be a problem. The preceding is a useful model of memory; it may not be literally true of what happens in the brain (Eysenck & Keane, 1995). Table of Contents Exit

  8. Short-Term Memory Concepts • Digit Span: Test of attention and short-term memory; string of numbers is recalled forward or backward • Typically part of intelligence tests • Magic Number 7 (Plus or Minus 2): STM is limited to holding seven (plus or minus two) information bits at once • Information Bit: Meaningful single piece of information Table of Contents Exit

  9. More Short-Term Memory Concepts • Recoding: Reorganizing or modifying information in STM • Information Chunks: Bits of information that are grouped into larger chunks • Maintenance Rehearsal: Repeating information silently to prolong its presence in STM • Elaborative Rehearsal: Links new information with existing memories and knowledge in LTM • Good way to transfer STM information into LTM Table of Contents Exit

  10. Long-Term Memory Concepts • Constructive Processing: Updating long-term memories on basis of logic, guessing, or new information • Pseudo-Memories: False memories that a person believes are true or accurate • Memory Structure: Pattern of associations among bits of information in LTM • Redintegrative Memory: Memories that are reconstructed or expanded by starting with one memory and then following chains of association to related memories Table of Contents Exit

  11. Types of Long-Term Memories • Procedural: Long-term memories of conditioned responses and learned skills, e.g., driving • Declarative: LTM factual information • Semantic Memory: Impersonal facts and everyday knowledge • Subset of declarative memory • Episodic: Personal experiences linked with specific times and places • Subset of declarative memory Table of Contents Exit

  12. CNN – Alzheimer’s Babies Table of Contents Exit

  13. Fig. 9.3 Exposed cerebral cortex of a patient undergoing brain surgery. Numbers represent points that reportedly produced “memories” when electrically stimulated. A critical evaluation of such reports suggests that they are more like dreams than memories. His fact raises questions about claims that long-term memories are permanent (From Wilder Penfield, The Excitable Cortex in Conscious Man, 1958. Courtesy of the author and Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, Springfield, Illinois.) Table of Contents Exit

  14. Fig. 9.6 The tower puzzle. In this puzzle, all the colored disks must be moved to another post, without ever placing a larger disk on a smaller one. Only one disk may be moved at a time, and a disk must always be moved from one post to another (it cannot be held aside). An amnesic patient learned to solve the puzzle in 31 moves, the minimum possible. Even so, each time he began, he protested that he did not remember ever solving the puzzle before and that he did not know how to begin. Evidence like this suggests that skill memory is distinct from memories for facts. Table of Contents Exit

  15. Fig. 9.7 In the model shown here, long-term memory is divided into procedural memory (learned actions and skills) and declarative memory (stored facts). Declarative memories can be either semantic (impersonal knowledge) or episodic (personal experiences associated with specific times and places). Table of Contents Exit

  16. Measuring Memory • Tip-of-the Tongue (TOT): Feeling that a memory is available but not quite retrievable • Recall: Direct retrieval of facts or information • Hardest to recall items in the middle of a list; known as Serial Position Effect • Easiest to remember last items in a list because they are still in STM Table of Contents Exit

  17. Fig. 9.8 The serial position effect. The graph shows the percentage of subjects correctly recalling each item in a 15-item list. Recall is best for the first and last items. (Data from Craik, 1970.) Table of Contents Exit

  18. Measuring Memory (cont.) • Recognition Memory: Previously learned material is correctly identified • Usually superior to recall • Distractors: False items included with a correct item • Wrong choices on multiple-choice tests • False Positive: False sense of recognition • Relearning: Learning again something that was previously learned • Used to measure memory of prior learning Table of Contents Exit

  19. Measuring Memory (cont.) • Savings Score: Amount of time saved when relearning information • Explicit Memory: Past experiences that are consciously brought to mind • Implicit Memory: A memory not known to exist; memory that is unconsciously retrieved • Priming: When cues are used to activate hidden memories • Internal Images: Mental pictures Table of Contents Exit

  20. Eidetic Imagery (Somewhat Like Photographic Memory) • Occurs when a person (usually a child) has visual images clear enough to be scanned or retained for at least 30 seconds • Usually projected onto a “plain” surface, like a blank piece of paper • Usually disappears during adolescence and is rare by adulthood Table of Contents Exit

  21. Fig. 9.10 Test picture like that used to identify children with eidetic imagery. To test your eidetic imagery, look at the picture for 30 seconds. Then look at a blank surface and try to “project” the picture on it. If you have good eidetic imagery, you will be able to see the picture in detail. Return now to the text and try to answer the questions there. (Redrawn from an illustration in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.) Table of Contents Exit

  22. Forgetting • Nonsense Syllables: Meaningless three-letter words (fej, quf) that test learning and forgetting • Encoding Failure: When a memory was never formed in the first place • Memory Traces: Physical changes in nerve cells or brain activity that occur when memories are stored • Memory Decay: When memory traces become weaker; fading or weakening of memories • Disuse: Theory that memory traces weaken when memories are not used or retrieved Table of Contents Exit

  23. Fig. 9.11 The curve of forgetting. This graph shows the amount remembered (measured by relearning) after varying lengths of time. The material learned was nonsense syllables. Forgetting curves for meaningful information also show early losses followed by a long, gradual decline, but overall, forgetting occurs much more slowly. (After Ebbinghaus, 1885.) Table of Contents Exit

  24. Fig. 9.13 Some of the distracter items used in a study of recognition memory and encoding failure. Penny A is correct but was seldom recognized. Pennies G and J were popular wrong answers. (Adapted from Nickerson & Adams, 1979.) Table of Contents Exit

  25. Fig.9.12 Pick a card from the six shown. Look at it closely and be sure you can remember which card is yours. Now, tap all four corners of this page with your fingertip. When you’re done, look at Fig.9.14 Table of Contents Exit

  26. Some More Theories of Forgetting • Memory Cue: Any stimulus associated with a memory; usually enhances retrieval of a memory • A person will forget if cues are missing at retrieval time • State-Dependent Learning: When memory retrieval is influenced by body state; if your body state is the same at the time of learning AND the time of retrieval, retrievals will be improved • If Robert is drunk and forgets where his car is parked, it will be easier to recall the location if he gets drunk again! Table of Contents Exit

  27. Fig.9.14 Poof! The card you chose in Fig. 9.12 is gone. Obviously, you could have selected any one of the six cards in Fig.9.12. How did I know which one to remove? This trick is based entirely on an illusion of memory. Recall that you were asked to concentrate on one card in Fig.9.12. That prevented you from paying attention to the other cards, so they weren’t stored in your memory. The five cards you see here are all new (none were shown in Fig.9.12). Because you couldn’t find your card in the “remaining five,” it looked like your card had disappeared. Table of Contents Exit

  28. Fig. 9.15 The effect of mood on memory. Subjects best remembered a list of words when their mood during testing was the same as their mood was when they learned the list. (Adapted from Bower, 1981.) Table of Contents Exit

  29. Even More (!) Theories of Forgetting • Interference: Tendency for new memories to impair retrieval of older memories, and vice versa • Retroactive Interference: Tendency for new learning to interfere with retrieval of old learning • Proactive Interference: Prior learning inhibits (interferes with) recall of later learning Table of Contents Exit

  30. Fig. 9.17 Effects of interference on memory. A graph of the approximate relationship between percentage recalled and number of different word lists memorized. (Adapted from Underwood, 1957.) Table of Contents Exit

  31. Fig. 9.18 Retroactive and proactive interference. The order of learning and testing shows whether interference is retroactive (backward) or proactive (forward). Table of Contents Exit

  32. More on Forgetting • Positive Transfer: Mastery of one task aids learning or performing another • Negative Transfer: Mastery of one task conflicts with learning or performing another Table of Contents Exit

  33. CNN – Memory Drugs Table of Contents Exit

  34. Repression and Suppression • Repression: Unconsciously pushing painful, embarrassing, or threatening memories out of awareness/consciousness • Motivated forgetting, according to some theories • Suppression: Consciously putting something painful or threatening out of mind or trying to keep it from entering awareness Table of Contents Exit

  35. Flashbulb Memories • Memories created during times of personal tragedy, accident, or other emotionally significant events • Where were you when you heard that terrorists had attacked the USA on September 11th, 2001? • Includes both positive and negative events • Not always accurate • Great confidence is placed in them even though they may be inaccurate Table of Contents Exit

  36. Memory Formation • Retrograde Amnesia: Forgetting events that occurred before an injury or trauma • Anterograde Amnesia: Forgetting events that follow an injury or trauma • Consolidation: Forming a long-term memory • Electroconvulsive Shock (ECS): Mild electrical shock passed through the brain, destroying any memory that is being formed; one way to prevent consolidation Table of Contents Exit

  37. Memory Structures • Hippocampus: Brain structure associated with information passing from short-term memory into long-term memory • If damaged, person can no longer “create” long-term memories and thus will always live in the present • Memories prior to damage will remain intact • Engram: Memory trace in the brain Table of Contents Exit

  38. Ways to Improve Memory • Knowledge of Results: Feedback allowing you to check your progress • Recitation: Summarizing aloud while you are learning • Rehearsal: Reviewing information mentally (silently) • Selection: Selecting most important concepts to memorize • Organization: Organizing difficult items into chunks; a type of reordering Table of Contents Exit

  39. Ways to Improve Memory (cont.) • Whole Learning: Studying an entire package of information at once, like a poem • Part Learning: Studying subparts of a larger body of information (like text chapters) • Progressive Part Learning: Breaking learning task into a series of short sections • Serial Position Effect: Making most errors while remembering the middle of the list • Overlearning: Studying is continued beyond bare mastery Table of Contents Exit

  40. Ways to Improve Memory (cont.) • Spaced Practice: Alternating short study sessions with brief rest periods • Massed Practice: Studying for long periods without rest periods • Lack of sleep decreases retention; sleep aids consolidation • Hunger decreases retention • Cognitive Interview: Technique used to improve memories of eyewitnesses Table of Contents Exit

  41. Mnemonics: Memory “Tricks” • Any kind of memory system or aid • Using mental pictures • Making things meaningful • Making information familiar • Forming bizarre, unusual, or exaggerated mental associations Table of Contents Exit

  42. Using Mnemonics to Remember Things in Order • Form a Chain: Remember lists in order, forming an exaggerated association connecting item one to two, and so on • Take a Mental Walk: Mentally walk along a familiar path, placing objects or ideas along the path • Use a system Table of Contents Exit

  43. Seven Sins of Memory (Schacter, 2001) • Transience: Stored information tends to fade with passage of time • Absent-Mindedness: Weak, poorly encoded memories tend to cause absent-mindedness • Blocking: Not being able to recall a word or a name that you know well • Misattribution: Linking a memory with the wrong source, time, or place Table of Contents Exit

  44. Seven Sins of Memory (cont.) • Suggestibility: Suggestions and misleading questions can implant information that leads us to alter or revise our memories • Bias: Memories are often distorted to match our beliefs and expectations • Persistence: Memories of traumatic events may persist for many years • Conclude: Memory limitations that appear to be flaws are actually adaptive features in some situations Table of Contents Exit

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