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PSYCH 1X03 (1,058)
Joe Kim (989)


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Joe Kim

Memory 03/06/2013 10:18:00 AM Introduction to Memory Introduction to Memory  The fundamental cognitive mechanism that allows us to store and retrieve information Common Memory Metaphors  Camera: preserves images and audio to be played back  Filing cabinet: memory files that are stored in an organised folder system which can be accessed  Computer: can handle different memories at different times Problems with Memory Metaphors  Psychologist Frederic Bartlett realised all these metaphors about human memory have something in common o They provide a useful way of thinking about memory in some regard, but they are misleading  Each assumes that memory can store experiences in their original undistorted form  Each also assumes that memory retrieval is as simple as accessing a previously stored item that has been kept in a specific place  Data: o Stored data is identical to inputted information o Retrieved data is identical to inputted information  Memory: o Stored memory includes personal details and interpretations o Retrieved memory may be altered or lost  (will be exploring memory traits, cognitive models of memory, and ways which memory fails: consider the question of whether you think memory represents an objective, undistorted representation of events or whether it is subject to interpretation and reconstruction) CHECKPOINT  The Basics of Memory Types of Question  Questions about memory acquisition  Questions about memory storage  Questions about memory retrieval Importance of Cues  Ex: as you banter back and forth with a friend, one memory triggers another, shaping the flow of the conversation  In sense, like the cue-response mechanisms studied by behaviourists, one memory acts as a cue to trigger another memory  Each researchers of memory were heavily influenced by the behaviourists, so it isn’t surprising that early focus of memory research concerned how cues interact with encoding and retrieval mechanisms of memory  Herman Ebbinghaus- opperattionally defined memory as a serial learning task o As he memorized word lists, he suggested that each word in the list served as a cue that triggered the memory of the word that followed (like perals linked in a necklace, each word connect to the word before and after it)  Cueing is an important concept in encoding specificity, a phenomenon by which encoding and retrieval are linked through cues Testing our Hypotheses  Psychologists rely on cognitive models to understand a complex cognitive function like memory  Models describe and organize data and most importantly, make specific, testable predictions that can be studied in controlled experiments in the lab  Basic memory involved two phases o Encoding phase: subject learns a list of words or items or pictures  Ex: researcher may present the same list of items to two different groups, but only explicitly ask the experimental group to learn the presented items, while a control group is distracted o Retrieval stage: subjects are tested for their memory of the items presented in the encoding phase Recall and Recognition  Recall test: subject is asked to freely generate as many items as she can remember  Recognition test: subject is shown several items and asked to judge whether each item is “new” (not presented in encoding phase) or “old” (item was presented during the encoding phase  In our simple experiments, both the reall and recognition tests may show that subjects who are explicity asked to learn the list of presented items performed better than subjects who are distracted and unexpectedly given a test following exposure to the same list of items Herman Ebbinghaus  Used basic encoding and retrieval design to learn about cueing and forgetting of memories  He mrmorised a list of “nonsense words” during the encoding phase and later tested his recall ability during the retrieval phase  He chose to use nonsense words to minimize the influence of his prior experience on his tests results  Questions that interested him: how long memories could be maintained o Ability to recall words was highest immediately following learning and that over time he was able to remember fewer and fewer words  Constructed the “forgetting curve” – described the increasing rate of memory failure over time o CHECKPOINT   The Multi-Store Model The Multi-Store Model  Most popular model, proposed by Atkinson & Shiffrin in 1968  Assumes that memory is composed of both short and long-term storage systems  Short term: Incoming perceptual information is first stored in a short-term memory buffer (operates in a similar manner to RAM on a computer available for online tasks but is not stored permanently)  Long term: Important information in short term memory can be transferred to the long-term memory system for more permanent long-term storage (similar to how files are saved onto the hard drive of a computer)  Ex: if items in short term memory are rehearsed, they may become transferred into the long-term memory store  George Miller  Short-term memory capacity of a random phone number o People can remember about 7, plus/ minus two items  Any more and the demand on short-term memory becomes strained o If rote rehearsal stops, the short term memory can fade Chunking  7 +/- 2 may not seem much but George Miller discovered that people can re-organise or “chunk” information in meaningful packets allowing more information to be held in short-term memory o ex: a list is easier to remember when they are chunked into more familiar letting groupings (list 2 is easier to remember)   letter groupings that form words pack even more information into a single chunk o ex: may only be able to remember 7 random letters of the alphabet, but you can also remember 7 different names of animals, which is remarkable because all of these names contain several letters each  Chunking can be applied to more complex visual information o Ex: if a chess expert and novice are briefly shown a chessboard with pieces placed at random and later asked to recall the position of the pieces, both are likely to make several errors o However, if the expert and novice are briefly shown a chessboard with pieces placed from an actual game, the expert is likely to have an upper hand when asked to recall the position of the pieces CHECKPOINT  Memory Experiments  Cognitive models in general and Multistore model of memory in particular, lies in their ability to make testable predictions about how memory works  If STM and LTM represent separate stores that interact dynamically, we should be able to isolate changes in each by manipulating specific variables associated with memory The Serial Position Curve Serial Position Curve  Imagine a subject is asked to learn a list of words in the encoding phase of a study  Here are the typical results from a recall test during the retrieval phase o  Memory performance is often best for items early or later in the list and worst for items in the middle of the list  This pattern of performance is summarized in the serial position curve (above) Primacy  Memory performance is good for items encoded early in the list  Why does it occur? o According to the multi-store model, the items at the beginning of the list will be the first to enter short-term memory, and thus have the most opportunity to be rehearsed  Stimuli/input goes into short-term memory, and goes into a process of rehearsal o Ex: if your task was to remember items for an odd shopping list, you could rehearse these items by repeating them in a sequential order o Because the first items in the memory list will be the most rehearsed, they have the best change of being transferred into long-term memory for permanent storage   As a result for rehearsal, memory performance for the early items is good because they have entered long term memory  Items in the middle of the list have less opportunity for rehersal and thus, less opportunity of being transferred into long-term memory  Consequently, memory performance for these middle list items suffer  Recency  last several items on the list  they have the least opportunity for rehearsal and transfer to long term memory, but recall for later items on the list is also good  this trend is known as the Recency Effect  Multi-store model can explain this pattern o Recall that according to t he multi-store model, all encoded information is first sent to the short-term memory buffer that is limited to hold around 7 items  Since you can only hod around 7 items in short-term memory, as you progress through the list, the newest items replace the oldest items in the short-term memory buffer  However, as you reach the end of the list, the last 7 or so items are not replaced by new items, and will remain in short-term memory  As a result, memory performance will be good for the last few items because they are still active in the short-term memory storage system Improving Primacy  Ex: if the primacy effect is driven by rehearsing items into the long- term memory, then the primacy effect should be influenced by a manipulation that changes a subject’s ability to rehearse items   Can be tested by manipulating the presentation time of each to-be remembered item  presumably, more time to encode each item would also allow more time for rehearsing those items into long-term memory  As a result, the primacy effect should be enhanced for a list of items given with a long interval of presentation relative to a list of items given with a short interval of presentation  Diminishing Recency  If the recency effect is driven by items remaining active in the short-term memory buffer, then the recency effect should be influenced by any manipulation that affects the contencts of the short-term memory store o Ex: a manipulation that causes the most recent contents of the short-term memory to be replaced or disrupted should neutralize the Recency effect    idea could be tested by asking a subject to perform a distracting t
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