Lecture 3: Short-term Memory
Short-term memory in anterograde amnesia.
When distracted, anterograde amnesia sets in. People who suffer from this can accurately
recall certain facts after a short retention time, however, when their attention is
temporarily turned to something else, that is when the anterograde amnesia sets in they
Short-term memory does not depend on the hippocampus.
This suggests that there is more than one memory system:
Memory Long-term Memory
Each system is specialised for a particular function with its own distinct neurosecretory.
Other LTM systems: (Some of which are unconscious) Long-term Memory Hippocampus Dependent
Short-term Memory Hippocampus Independent
Intact in individuals who have medial temporal lobe damage, therefore it is evident that
these people must have some short-term memory system that is not run by the
DEFINITION: Short-term memory holds what you are actively thinking about and
Note: anterograde amnesia is when the individual cannot form any new long-term
Characteristic of STM:
George Miller STM can hold approx.. 7 chunks/items of info.
The no. of chunks we can remember is the limit of STM
Short-term vs. Working memory (Terms are used alternatively)
Info. In working memory is actively processed and manipulated while we are
The contents of short term memory are always being put to work.
Working Memory & the Prefrontal Cortex
Experiment: An electrode is implanted in an awake, behaving monkey. They fixate on
a central dot, then given a cue (so a square to the top right of the fixation point) to
look at and remember. A period of delay occurs where the square disappears and
the monkey is then required to remember the location of the cue.