Stages of Information Processing & Memory
Encoding (acquisition) Storage (retention) Retrieval
- Automatic processing most common (automatically, no effort)
o Information about location, time, frequency...
- Others are Effortful processing (needs attention, is controlled)
o Rehearsal requires effort (to maintain information and pass onto long-term)
Depths/Levels of Encoding:
- Visual image: i.e. is the word in capital letters?
- Acoustic sound: does the word rhyme with “free”?
- Semantic meaning: Is the word an animal?
o Words that are processed semantically are better remembered
- Visual encoding/image: words are easily imagined are better remembered than more abstract words (liberty,
- Mnemonic devices: a means to remember long lists and passages. I.e. make up a story for list
o Chunking: we are able to store +/- 7 items in short-term memory, imporved through chunking (i.e.
Types of Memory
Sensory Short-term (Working) Long-term (Permanent)
Stimulus are automatically extracted Depends on rehearsal (effort) to Essentially limitless
and encoded maintain memory Transferred from short-term memory
Stored in brief-lasting sensory Active attention, no distractions Role of hippocampus
memory Limited content (7 items) Must be transferred back to working
Iconic(visual – pictures last tenths of Increased through mnemonics (i.e. memory
sec) & Ethoic (auditory – 3/4 sec) chunking)
The Nature of Memory Stored
Long term potentiation: the prolonged potential of neuronal firing. Once repeatedly used (circuit), the sending neuron easily
releases neurotransmitters and post synaptic neuron may increase the number of receptor sites (or structure may change)
Consolidation: transfer from short-term to long-term memory. Takes time, involves rehearsal, requires consciousness. If
individual loses memory = no recollection of the memory when conscious.
Explicit memory Implicit memory Priming Amnesia
Memory for facts, Memories that exists but I.e. word “cat” Loss of memory, often
experiences that one can cannot be consciously automatically primes the explicit memory. I.e. can do
consciously recall (i.e recalled (i.e. motor skills) retrieval of the word “dog” complex task but won’t
personal history) remember when learnt it.
Improving Retrieval - Recall: ability to retrieve information from me