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Lecture

203 guest lecture # 4 dringenberg.pdf

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 203
Professor
Daryl Wilson
Semester
Winter

Description
Guest  lecture     The  Modulation  of  memory  and  synaptic  plasticity   or  How  to  make   memories  last?     Dr.  Hans  Dringenberg     Get  slides     Memory  involves  two  components  –  the  storing  of  information  and  the  ability  to  recall  that   information.       When  new  experiences  are  stored  in  the  brain  there  is  a  change  in  the  brain  that  mediates   information  encoding.  This  is  called  synaptic  plasticity  –  new  information  changes  the  synaptic   connections.       What  are  common  features  to  events  that  we  remember?   • Positive  emotional  significance   • Emotional  significance  in  general  –  traumatic,  anxiety-­‐provoking,  fearful  experiences     • Novel  events  –  things  that  aren’t  boring     • Attention     There  appears  to  be  a  link  between  emotional  arousal  and  memory.       1. He  asks  us  what  we  remember  (gathering  an  idea  for  a  study)  and  looks  for  common   features.     2. Looks  at  case  studies  of  what  other  people  remember,  citing  examples  of  JFK,  9/11,  first   kiss,  graduation.   3. Puts  forward  hypothesis.       Hypothesis:  experiences  that  are  associated  with  high  levels  of  emotional  arousal  (positive  or   negative)  are  remembered  better.       4. Shows  a  study  design  –  do  people  remember  neutral  words  or  threatening  (emotionally   charged)  words  better?  Finding  is  consistent  with  the  hypothesis.     5. Look  at  brain  imaging  study  to  look  at  possible  mechanisms  behind  above  finding.       Amygdala  is  associated  with  emotionally  charged  stimuli.  Greater  emotional  arousal  is   associated  with  a  larger  brain  response  is  associated  with  greater  memory.       6. Make  a  model  based  on  what  we  know.  Can  we  address  the  links  between  this  model?  Can   we  study  these  links  in  animals?  If  we  use  animals  we  have  to  change  the  experimental   approach.           Why  use  non-­‐human  animals?  They  can  be  probed  for  brain  mechanisms,  experimental   manipulation  (using  drugs,  removing  areas  of  the  brain),  they  provide  insights  into   evolutionary  development  and  brain  function.       7. Picking  the  animal  is  important.  Need  something  that  shows  emotional  responsiveness,  has   a  similar  brain  structure,  can  be  easily  manipulated.     8. Pick  a  design.  Do  rats  have  a  fear  response  to  cats?  This  design  holds  problem  because  we   need  to  record  the  rat  (have  a  DV)  and  not  have  so  many  rats  killed.  So  the  new   experimental  question  would  be:  do  rats  have  a  fear  response  to  cat  hair?   9. Set  up  an  objective  DV.  In  this  case  you  would  put  a  hairball  in  one  corner  of  the  box  and   measure  how  much  time  the  rat  spends  moving  around,  c
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