PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - The Cocktail Party, Episodic Memory, Sensory Memory

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5 Feb 2013
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Attention and memory
Attention :
In order for something to potentially be remembered, it must be attended to in the
first place
Attention is selective:
- It has to be selective because it is limited
- Selective attention is adaptive
Visual search tasks
Searching for one feature is fast and automatic (parallel processing)
- The target will “pop out” at you
Searching for two (or more) features is slow and effortful (serial processing):
- Must examine each target one-by-one
Selective listening:
The “cocktail party phenomenon”: even if you are having a conversation with
someone, if you hear something that gets your attention (your name, or someone
talking about someone you know), your brain is likely to focus on that conversation.
Shadowing: A person listens to two different messages (one presented to the left
ear, and one to the right) and only attends to one of the messages (by repeating it
aloud):
- Generally have no conscious knowledge about the information being presented
to the other (unattended) ear
Models of memory:
The information processing model:
- Encoding phase: information is acquired and processed into a neural code that
the brain can use
- Storage phase: The retention of encoded information (whether it is for a second
or a lifetime)
- Retrieval phase: Recalling or remembering the stored information when we need
it
The modal memory model:
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