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Lecture 8

Cognitive Psychology – Lecture 8 - Lecture Notes.docx

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Simon Fraser University
PSYC 221
Richard Wright

PSYC 221 Fall Semester 2013 Cognitive Psychology – Lecture Eight Long-Term Memory – Encoding (Part One) - How information gets into Long-Term Memory (LTM) General Theme - The more elaborate and deeply processed something is, the more likely is that we will remember it - the memory trace will be stronger. Part I: Memory Aids and Mnemonics - For the longest time, before the printing press – we had an “oral” culture.  Information would be passed down from one generation to the next orally.  There were no books, except handwritten ones (which would take forever to complete and were not widely distributed).  We all use mnemonics and memory aids and they were particularly important in “oral” cultures (before the 1400’s) - People were very familiar with mnemonics.  Used in mathematics and sciences to remember terms and to pass them down accurately from one generation to the next.  Widely used in poems, scientific knowledge from early philosophy and early medical work – before the printing press.  Often found in long poems and orators were using different sorts of Examples: (Memory Aids) Cue Cards, Teleprompters, Notes, Rosary Beads, and Prayer Wheels. Methods of Loci (Locations): Using cues to recall parts of his speech. - “Pillars and Lecture Theatre” - Speakers trick for remembering topics of his/her speech:  The speaker imagines words (on the pillars), in order to remember the three parts of his/her speech.  Speaker uses cues in order to recall parts of his speech Simonides - Greek Poet  first poet to get paid to go to events and recite poetry in his time period. - Uses Methods of Loci technique  by associating parts of his speech to people at the event he was performing at and relating it to them. Bruno - Astronomer - Used methods of loci to help remember the constellations of stars - Thought planets orbited the sun  the church burnt him at the stake (exiled). Mark Twain PSYC 221 Fall Semester 2013 - Storyteller - Mentally found landmarks in the park and that would be his “locations” he would use for the Methods of Loci. - Went to a park and associated landmarks with parts of speech - this allowed him to remember particularly long speech by imagining the same walk he took. - Use the same locations, in the same order to remember numerological order. Example: Five Locations of SFU - SFU Sign - Security and Traffic Office - Highlands Pub in Maggie Benson Building - AQ Renaissance Coffee Bar Close to RCB Building - Mackenzie Cafeteria Remembering 5 things to buy at the Grocery Store - Bananas - Mustard - Beer - Tomatoes - Ground Beef Methods of Loci Example: Using bizarre images to remember stuff (Grocery List Items Example) - Bananas associated with SFU sign (Huge Bananas 17ft long draped over the SFU Sign) - Mustard associated with Security and Traffic Office (Mustard covering the whole of the office) - Beer associated with the Highland Pub at Maggie Benson Building (Huge pint of beer too big to enter the building) - Tomatoes associated with AQ Renaissance Coffee Bar (Workers throwing tomatoes at Mackenzie Cafeteria) - Ground Beef associated with Mackenzie Cafeteria (Ground Beef Brain carved by Ralph Mistleberger) Methods of Loci Study - Remembering list of 25 words - Used to remember serial lists - Create bizarre imagery - (Decline) Less than 50% of words remembered when not using any kind of technique - Better when using the Methods of Loci. Peg-Word Method - Based somewhat on a child-like rhyme (e.g. one is a bun, two is a shoe, three is a tree, four is a door, five is a hive) PSYC 221 Fall Semester 2013 - Used to remember serial lists of things by creating bizarre imagery (like the Methods of Loci) - Good at remembering things at a particular order and involves ideally bizarre imagery. - Can also be used to remember certain points that are needed to be covered when doing a speech or studying for an exam.  Remembering the word milk  image milk being poured all over a bun (peg word)  Remembering the word shoe  image shoe kicking bread in half (peg word) Key-Word Method - Good for learning words in a new language - Good for learning new words of language you do know, but are words you have never heard of before. - The idea is that the new word you want to learn and sound it out trying to picture or an image to remember that word. E.g. Duck in Spanish = “Pato”  image pot with a duck underneath it walking. First Letter Method - Think of an acronym - Use this method to remember things in a particular order E.g.  ROY G BIV (colors of the spectrum = Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet)  RICE (Rest Ice Compression and Elevation)  HOMES (Great Lakes = Huron Ontario Michigan Erie Superior)  NOIR (Nominal Ordinal Interval Ratio)  Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge (Music Scale Notes = E G B D F) Summary of the Methods - Methods of Loci:  Good at remembering things in a particular order.  Work well with bizarre imagery. - First-Letter Method:  Good at remembering things in a particular order.  Good for remembering new words. - Peg-Word Method:  Good at remembering things in a particular order.  Work well with bizarre imagery. Part II: Extraordinary Memories - People with extraordinary memories use mnemonics PSYC 221 Fall Semester 2013  Aitken: Scottish Math Professor  someone read out a list of 25 words to him and 27 years later and he was able to recall all the words and he didn’t even know he was going to be tested.  VP: Latvian Graduate Student  Really loved to memorize things when he was small, in his preteens he memorized many long poems, when he was 5 he memorized all the streets on a map of his city (Riga)  Used all kinds mnemonic tricks to remember information, using very deep and elaborate coding (he would work intensely to encode this information  very elaborate encoding)  Gou Yan-Ling: Guinness Book of World Records  memorized 15,000 phone numbers (the most phone numbers)  Hideaki Tomoyori: Memorized the value of pi to 40,000 decimal places and could recall all of it in 17 hours.  W.O.: Professor at medical school  deeply encoded things and he has synesthesia  sees things in different colours that we don’t normally see.  S (Shereshevsky): The greatest mnemonist and newspaper person in Russia  remembered everything being talked (facts and figures) at the staff meetings in newspaper discussions, also synesthetic.  Became a professional mnemonist  Participated in a study carried out by neuropsychologist Alexander Luria  Heard a list of hundreds of nonsense syllables used methods of loci to recall all the information and was able to remember everything after 25 years. Synesthesia: People who see things different compared to what we regularly see in real life. - Has an easier way of deeply encoding things in an elaborate way. - Black Writing  Sees Colourful Writing - Voices, Sounds and Auditory Stimuli  Sees Colourful Patterns corresponding to the auditory stimuli E.g. “you have a very yellowy voice” Savants - A person with extraordinary mental abilities, often in numerical calculation, but sometimes in art or music. - These skills are often, not always, associated with autism or mental retardation. - “Synesthesia” PSYC 221 Fall Semester 2013 Musical Savant Video Example  Pianist Derek Paravicini  Musical Savant with Autism and who is also blind.  Derek was born 3 and ½ months premature  weighed only 1lb 5oz  Can listen to a very complex song once and is able to remember and play it. Hypermnesia: “Modern Day Shereshevsky’s” - Superior Autobiographical Memory “Super Memory” - Class Video  60 Minutes Episode  People with Superior Autobiographical Memory:  Louise Owen: - 37 years old - Professional violinist living in NYC - She c
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