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psychology 110 - January 21 2010.docx

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University of Saskatchewan
PSY 120
Donna Darbellay

Psychology 110 1 January 21 2010 Biology of memory: - Forming a memory involves chemical and structural changes at the level of the neuron o Long-term potentiating: a long-lasting increase in the strength of synaptic responsiveness  Reflects Hebbian learning ideas; may involve glutamate  Hebb’s idea o Linked memory consolidation: process by which the synaptic changes associated with recently stored memories become durable and stable, causing memoires to be more reliable Locating memories - Brain imaging and testing has demonstrated: o Frontal love activity linked to short-term memory tasks o Hippocampal activity during long-term memory tasks o Prefrontal cortex and areas adjacent to hippocampus active when encoding words and pictures o Procedural memories linked to changes in cerebellum o Cerebral cortex involved in formation of long-term memory Hormones and Memory - Hormones released adrenal glands during stress and emotional arousal enhance memory o Combined effort of epinephrine and glucose may play a key role  Crosses the blood brain barrier easier than adrenalin o Research on “sweet memories” - Moderate levels of stress hormones optimal o Animals studies demonstrate that too much impairs memory How do we remember? 1. Effective encoding - Automatic encoding: accurate encoding that takes place automatically, without effort - Effortful encoding: to retain complex information, you might have to selected the main pints, label concepts, or associate the information with personal experiences or material you already know 2. Rehearsal - Maintenance rehearsal: rote repetition of material to maintain availability - Elaborative rehearsal: association of new information with already stored knowledge analysis of new information to make it memorable o Also involves deep processing versus shallow processing  Deep processing: the meaning  Shallow processing: looking at 3. Mnemonics - Mnemonics: are strategies and tricks for improving memory, such as the use of verse or a formula o Involves active encoding Psychology 110 2 January 21 2010 o Examples:  Rhymes: thirty days hath September  Formulas: every good boy deserves fudge  Mental images: Why we forget? - Forgetting curves o Ebbinghaus: nonsense syllables, rapidly lost as they had no meaning o Linton: recipe cards of things that happened all day, memory loss was a slower - Five mechanisms account for forgetting: 1. Decay - Decay th
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