CHAPTER 8(1): MEMORY
A. What is Memory
1. Learning that has persisted over time
2. Information that has been stored over time
3. Information that can be retrieved over time
4. Memory is a reconstructive process.
B. Memory is a Reconstructive Process
1. Is capacity to retain and retrieve information?
2. Is a reconstruction of things that have already occurred?
Without memory we would need round the clock care. It provides us with
C. What are memories
1. Complex cluster of information
2. Reconstruct image of a person
a) Recall aspects of appearance
3. Different pieces of information are processed separately and stored in
different locations distributed across areas of the brain.
4. All these sites then participate in the representation of the event or concepts
as a whole.
5. Hippocampus binds diverse aspects of a memory at time of
formation so even though stored in different sites the memory is retrieved in
one coherent entity.
D. The Biology of Memory: The Case of HM
1. Had most of his hippocampus and all of his amygdala removed.
2. He cannot put content of working memory into long term memory.
3. Showed the hippocampus makes short-term memories into long
4. Although the hippocampus is responsible for memory different
kinds of memory are dependent on different parts of the brain.
E. HM continued
1. HM could practice a task (star), not recall he had ever done so,
and then do the task very well but not know why.
2. He could remember (unconsciously) a motor skill but not a fact or
3. This revealed there were different kinds of memory dependent on
different parts of the brain.
4. HM has motor memory, some spatial memory, some long term
memory, but no declarative memory and episodic memory. 5. Supports this dual track mind or processing (unconscious and
F. The Capacity of Memory
1. Short-Term memory
a) Limited in capacity – Seven bits of information can be stored +/- 2
b) Recall is better for random digits (phone numbers) than for
c) Recall is better for random digits (phone numbers) than for
d) Recall is slightly better for what we hear than for what we see
e) Without rehearsal, most people can retain about 4 information chunks in
their short term memory
2. Long-Term memory
a) Unlimited capacity, but not as accurate as sensory memory or short-
b) Organizes and stores information
c) Information not stored in precise locations
d) Duration of memory storage thought by some to be permanent
II Memory As Information Processing
1. Encoding: input from the environment gets encoded into
2. Storage: Retaining information in either working or long term
3. Retrieval: Getting information back out of memory.
4. Overview: Memory Processes
a) Encoding: Getting information into memory
b) Storage: Retaining information in memory
c) Retrieval: Recalling or using previously encoded and stored
A. A Three-Component Model
Cognitive processes involve computer metaphor: encoding,
storing, and retrieving information
We get information into the brain (encode), retain that
information (store it) and pull it out later (retrieve it)
Three component or 3-component models says there are 3
components to memory: sensory, short term or working
memory, and long term memory.
1. Sensory Memory
a) Sensory input from the environment is recorded as fleeting
b) Information is processed in short-term memory.
c) Information is encoded into long-term memory for later
retrieval. d) The Briefest Form of Memory Storage: Sensory Memory, Sensory
Visual: Iconic Memory
Auditory: Echoic Memory (Duration: a few seconds)
The immediate, initial recording of sensory information in
the memory system.
Entryway to STM or LTM.
½ sec. for iconic and 2 sec. for echoic in highly accurate
form until we decide if it’s worth recalling—if not deleted.
2. Short-Term/Working Memory
a) Memory codes
Once information leaves sensory memory it must be
represented by a code to be retained in STM and then
Codes take several forms: By sound (phonological
encoding by saying words to yourself), by meaning
(semantic encoding), or by visual encoding (a mental
picture that retains that image).
Codes do not have to conform to original stimulus—you
read words, but likely do not store images of the letters;
rather, you see/read words and use semantic encoding
because you remember what the word means.
b) Capacity and duration
A limited-capacity memory system involved in the
retention of information for brief periods
Info. needs to be encoded (e.g., visual encoding into
Also used to hold information retrieved from LTM for
temporary use (referred to as working memory)
Working memory: STM + the mental processes that
control retrieval of information from LTM & lets you
interpret information appropriately for given tasks.
Duration (Extending memory duration)
▪ We can extend info. by rehearsing/repeating it (say
it out loud).
▪ Memorize information to keep information
available long enough to get through the test and
then forget most of it.
▪ Focus on meaning or relate information to other
things you already know.
▪ Focus on the meaning of content, understanding the content.
▪ Organizing information and thinking about how it
applies to your own life and related it to concepts
and examples you already know illustrate
Elaborative rehearsal is deeper kind of processing
then maintenance and more effective at
transferring information into LTM.
Impose order on set of stimuli—serves as a cue to
help trigger memory.
▪ You have built more connections so you have
more cues when trying to recall.
c) Putting short-term memory “to work”
STM is now seen more as working memory: A mental
workspace that actively and simultaneously processes
different types of information and supports other
cognitive functions like problem-solving, planning, and
interacts with LTM.
Active processing of information
Associates new and old information
Busy librarian—categorizing, cross-referencing
3. Long-Term Memory
a) LTM is the memory system involved in long-term storage of
information (the 3 box of 3 component ).
b) Durable memories: Can last a life-time; Storage unlimited.
c) How is information organized?
Semantic categories: A larger grouping into which items
similar in some characteristics can be placed (e.g., chair
belongs to the category furniture)
Phonetic/visual categories: Organize by the way things
look or the way the words sound.
Relevance and familiarity: Organize by how familiar
Encoding: Entering Information
A. Effortful and Automatic Progressing
1. Automatic encoding
a) Information about frequency, spatial location, sequence, and
timing are encoded automatically.
b) You recall where you sit in class.
c) Without intention, minimal attention, effortless, accurate.
d) Sometimes you encode what you don’t want: You can recall
where the diagram was in your textbook but not the information. e) This is ‘depth of processing’—info. automatically sent to LTM
but you don’t need it.
2. Effortful encoding
a) Encoding that is initiated intentionally and requires conscious
b) Names, phone numbers, passwords, test content requires
rehearsing, lists, notes.
c) To retain information may have to select main parts, label
concepts, or make associations with what you already know.
B. Levels of Processing: When deeper in better
1. Semantic Encoding (Deep Processing)
C. Exposure and Rehearsal
D. Organization and Imagery
1. Hierarchies and Chunking
2. Mnemonic Devices (Other ways of extending STM memory)
a) Hierarchies and chunking represent two types of effortful
b) These are mnemonic devices.
c) An acronyms is a mnemonic device where one or more
letters (usually the first letter) from each piece of information you wish to
remember makes a word For example, many students learn the acronyms
HOMES and ROY G. BIV to help remember the names of the five Great
Lakes of North America (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior)
d) Memory aid that uses vivid imagery
3. Visual Imagery
E. How Prior Knowledge Shapes Encoding
IV Storage: Retaining Information
A. Memory as a Network
1. Associative Networks
A network of associated ideas and concepts.
a) When people think about a concept, such as “fire engine,”
there is a spreading activation