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Lecture 21

PSYA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 21: Echoic Memory, George Sperling, Clive Wearing

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Steve Joordens

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Lecture 21: Memory: Not a Singular Noun
-we use the term, memory like a singular noun, but we actually have multiple memories
-memory is a plural verb, not a singular noun
-memory is a process
-Clive Wearing had a herpes simplex virus, that caused a really big fever (basically cooked the
brain), and extensive damage is done to the brain (almost all parts of the brain related to
-Wearing became a living example of what it would be like if humans have no memory system
-he had no memory of past experiences, causing him to feel confusion and like he never felt
anything before
-Wearing has no memory and ends up living in the present, and things that happened some
tie efore did’t happe i his perspetie
-it’s like he eperiees thigs agai ad again, but he still remembers how to do something
(e.g. play the piano)
-many different memory systems
-some are sensory memory systems, where it only keeps input we receive from the eyes, ears,
etc. for a short period of time
-short-term memory a.k.a working memory, kind of like consciousness, where we remember
things for a short period of time
-long-term memory, where you learn something and can gain access to it later
-this is subdivided into two types, explicit and implicit
-explicit memory is things you consciously remember
-implicit memory is things we learned, the procedures (procedural memory), things we do not
consciously have to remember
-episodic memory is a type of explicit memory that we remember events that happen to us
-semantic memory is facts and concepts that we learned and tried to remember
-sesor trae is he e reeer a stiulus’ origial plae, ee he it oed to aother
-e.g. of sensory trace, a flashlight being waved in the dark
-George Sperling called visual sensory memory, iconic memory
-full report condition is when a participant is asked to remember some items (in this case,
letters) and be able to recite as many as they can
-in this condition, on average, participants can remember 4.5 letters
-partial report is when participants are only asked for a certain row of items out of all the items
they tried to remember
-on average, participants get 2.5 correct out of the 3 letters they need to remember
-Sperling hypothesized from these results that since people are able to remember in a partial
report better than a full report, this means that they must remember 7.5 out of 9 letters
-but when participants are trying to do full report, they cannot remember as many letters, since
they tend to forget the letters in the middle
-these experiments are used to test for iconic memory, where the visual system is holding onto
things we saw; the stimulus may have moved away before we can turn our attention to it, but
we still remember the stimuli being there
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