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PSYC 2650
Anneke Olthof

Cognitive Psychology: Chapter 6 Learning as Preparation for Retrieval - Recall that when we learn, we make connections between the newly acquired material and representations already in memory - These connections serve as retrieval paths when we need to remember the new material  What if you can't find the path? How specific do they have to be? - State-dependent learning – new material is most likely to be recalled when the person is in the same mental, emotional, or biological state as when the material was learned  Being in the same state of mind might help you to retrieve your memories  Same place is also useful for memory recall - For example, materials learned while on land are best recalled while on land, and materials learned while underwater are best recalled while underwater  SCUBA gear while underwater, because otherwise they would have drowned - Context reinstatement, or recreating the context that was present during learning, will improve memory performance • Fisher & Craik (1977) presented participants with word pairs and asked them to remember the second word. The first word served as context • The word pairs were either semantically related or rhymed  Ex) Target word is cat  Semantically related – first word could be “dog”  Rhymed – first word could be “hat” • During testing, the prime words were presented as cues or hints - Two effects were observed: • Depth of processing effect – thinking about meaning at the time of encoding provides an advantage, compared to thinking about rhyming at encoding  Depth of processing is a more effective way of remembering • Context reinstatement effect – having the same kind of context during learning and retrieval provides an advantage, compared to different kinds of contexts  Remembered the word best if cue matched the means that you used to encode the word Encoding Specificity - Encoding specificity refers to the tendency, when memorizing, to place in memory both the materials to be learned as well as the context of those materials  “The man lifted the piano.” *context: heavy+  “The man tuned the piano.” *context: music+ - As a result, materials will be recognized as familiar later on only if they appear again in a similar context  Participants’ memory for the piano benefitted from a cue only if the cue was in the same context as the way it was stored -- Ex) If I remembered the piano as being an instrument and was cued to remember by someone telling me it was “heavy”, I would not remember it easily - Encoding specificity also explains why memory for having seen an ambiguous figure depends on the interpretation being the same at encoding and retrieval  Encode it as a vase, then test their memory with them thinking of two people kissing, they will not remember the picture Different Forms of Memory Testing - Recall – the participant must generate the studied items, often in response to a contextual cue  “What was the name of the restaurant that we went to?” -- Ex) Essay exam - Recall requires a search through memory and depends heavily on whether retrieval paths are available - Recognition – the studied items are presented to the participant, who decides whether they were encountered before  “Is this the name of the restaurant?” -- Just have to be able to identify -- Ex) Multiple choice exam - If source memory is available, recognition responses are similar in mechanism to recall  “Yes, I saw this word before.” -- Recalling a specific episode - In other cases, recognition responses are based on a feeling of familiarity  “This feels familiar, so I must have seen it recently.” -- No specific episode, just general feeling -- “I know I've seen that face before, but where?” - Source memory and familiarity are also distinguishable neuroanatomically (at the time of encoding) - Participants are asked to make “remember/know” decisions, pressing one button if they recall the episode of encountering a particular item (“remember”) and another if they have a feeling of familiarity (“know”) - Activation in the rhinal cortex during encoding predicts later feelings of familiarity and a “know” response - Activation in the hippocampus during encoding predicts later source memory and a “remember” response  We know the hippocampus is involved in encoding new memories Implicit Memory - Other ways of testing memory are more indirect - We can expose participants to an event, later re-expose them to the same event, and assess whether the responses on the second encounter is different from those on the first  Do not tell them that they will be tested on the first event! If they respond differently the second time, it means that there must be some trace of the first event remaining that they can remember  For example, the lexical-decision task can be used in such an experiment to demonstrate repetition priming – more efficient processing for repeated presentation of the same stimulus  Must decide as fast as possible if a grouping of letters is a real world or not  Faster if given a word that they've already seen - This is observed even if the participant does not remember seeing the item before - Another example of repetition priming can be seen with word-stem completion - Participants are given a string of letters and are asked to produce a word beginning with this string  Ex) “CLA-”; responses: “clam, class, or clatter” - If participants have encountered one of these words recently, they are more likely to provide it as a response in this task, even if they do not consciously remember seeing that word before - As another example of implicit memory, identification of perceptually degraded images is easier if you have previously seen the intact images - Results like these led to the distinction between two kinds of memory: - Explicit memory • Revealed by direct memory testing, such as recall or recognition • Accompanied by the conviction that one is remembering a specific prior episode.  “Do you remember?” - Implicit memory • Revealed by indirect memory testing, such as a priming task • No realization that one is being influenced by past experiences - “False Fame” Study by Jacoby et al. (1989) • Participants were first asked to read aloud a list of fictitious names • Some time later, they were asked to rate another list of names in terms of how famous each person was. The list included real famous people, as well as fictitious names that had been read earlier • In some conditions, participants rated the previously read fictitious names as famous. The familiarity of the name was misattributed  Familiar, therefore must be a famous name - Illusion of Truth – an effect of implicit memory in which claims that are familiar end up seeming more plausible - In one
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