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Lecture 7

PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Spreading Activation, Implicit Memory, Deep Learning

Course Code
Connie Boudens

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Lecture 7 - 02-25-13
Lecture Outline:
Learning as Preparation for Retrieval
Encoding Specificity
Different forms of Memory testing
Implicit Memory
Theoretical Treatments of Implicit Memory
Learning as Preparation for Retrieval
We talked a lot about memory in terms of making connections. The more the connections, the
better the memory is. Deep learning usually talks about some deep meaning and in doing that,
you bring up past knowledge and connections to the information that you're learning. When
we're talking about learning new material, we can talk about retrieval path. Ending with what
we just learned and coming from some other information like cues or hints that people give us
or from our environment that brings some cues back to us to help memory.
When you're writing an exam, you might have a question where you have to define a cell in
biology and now it's your job to find that retrieval path to be able to recall that information.
Context dependent learning is dependent on the state one is during acquisition
Context dependent learning/state-dependent learning is the idea that the context you're in
assist your ability to recall something depending on whether it's congruent - the same type of
context - or incongruent - a different type of context.
Example from textbook: classical article from literature on how context can be important. They
had people learn new information on land or underwater. When they are then tested again for
that information, they can be tested either on land/under water. They found that people who
learn the information on land recalled the information better on land, same thing for
underwater. The opposite is the case as well.
Context reinstatement, or re-creating the context present during learning, improves memory
e.g. divers, noisy environment, smells, rooms
psychological context is key not physical context
It's not only the divers and the people in water/land that changes things. There are tons of
studies that something as simple as if we were taking the course in the lecture and doing the
exam in the lecture as opposed to doing it in the gym. What does this mean for people online?
There's a context of the fact that learning the material in a certain context, you'll do better if
you're doing the exam in the same context. Another one is smell; smelling someone's perfume
or cologne - that you knew from someone in the past and brings up memories, popcorn. These
can cue memories and can improve memory if you're learning something that time. The
interesting part of this and this is somewhat of a better message, it's not necessarily the physical
context. You don't have to be physically in this room to do better. It means that it's a
psychological context. Just thinking about this room or just thinking about where you were

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when you were studying can help you. There's been studies that have shown that if you ask the
participant to visualize where they were where they were when they memorized the list of
words. Some people have gotten accustomed to doing this. We talked last week about making
these connections and the types of meanings associated, those can help us recall what we were
doing or thinking at the time. How does this relate to the deep learning?
There was a study done; they were looking at two different factors. Fisher & Craik in 1977 had
participants learn a word or say that they'll be tested on that in the future, given a word pair.
Recall the second word. The first was related in one of two ways: semantically or that it rhymed
with the word. When something is semantic and you have to think about the meaning of the
word, that stimulates better recollection in the future. You're going to be able to recall that
information better. Whereas rhyming a word may not be as deep a process.
Words that have meaning, that are semantically related should stimulate better recollection.
Depth of processing chart..
Context reinstatement means that you learn that material better when you're brought back to
the context. If you have depth of processing + context reinstatement, that's the best way to
recall information.
Encoding specificity - remembering something within a specific context. When we talk about
enconding, we're talking about how that information is brought in. We've seen something that's
come in, it's the actual process of learning, it's the couple steps down from information coming
in. Specificity means specific context. Now we're talking about something greater here in terms
of meaning. So not just physical context.
With this "Man__piano"
Man lifted/tuned piano; different types of hints elicit better memory. If it was something heavy,
that would be the man lifted the piano, or nice sound, the tuned piano. It's the type of
information that you're prompted with changes your ability to recall the information.
Something similar is one of these types of the dual interpretation of an image. If you hadn't seen
it and you look at it and you don't see it right away, we talk about this as a vase. Later on when
we talk about it, it's a good explanation that you might only recognize a certain interpretation of
the image.
Spreading Activation - travels from one node to another, via the associative links
Similar to neurons - input sums to reach a threshold, causing firing
Why does this all happen? What's a good explanation of why we see these results or what we
have these findings. Spreading activation is the idea that we play on a lot in terms of cognitive
psychology. Basically, spreading activation means if you think of all these things connected as
some net, let's visualize it as a net and with every connection in the net there is light bulbs.
These light bulbs are at the points of intersections (nodes). The bulbs can be on or off. Spreading
activation means that for a certain light to turn on, one of the other lights surrounding it must
be turned on to give that light power. In order for this light to actually turn on, it has to reach a
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