PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Perirhinal Cortex, Memory Rehearsal, Memory Span

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19 Mar 2013
Lecture 6 - 02-11-13
the stuff for midterm should probably be up to this point (and including this lecture), everything
else is after, official midterm date TBA
Working Memory
The Modal Model
Working Memory
Entering Long term storage
elaborate encoding
organizing and memorizing
links among acquisition, storage, and retrieval
One way to frame learning and memory
analogy to creating, storing and opening a computer file
answers questions of how to improve study and improving memory
The Modal Model
Information Processing
There's incoming information (you seen something whether visual or audio), sensory
information is the processing of the sensory (the actual visual that comes in) and then enters
STM (analogy of loading dock; e.g. rehearsing something, you can put that into the LTM). STM is
deemed very volatile (7+/-2 items of chunking). This overtime has become a little bit more
complex and updated as well.
WM - a dynamic form of STM. As time progressed, the idea of STM sort of been put by the
wayside because WM is a better description or indicator of what's going on. WM describes the
actual activity that's going on in memory. Rather than the loading dock (memory holding
something), it's now there and you can pull it back out into STM and use it there. The idea of
WM now, we still think of as a similar idea of its where you have the limits (still volatile). Rather
than a place in the brain, it's an activity, becomes a more dynamic activity that you do when
you're thinking about something.
If working memory were a capacity of a computer, what component might it correspond to and
WM: the memory system responsible for the ST mental storage and manipulation of
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Analogy: in a computer, there are two means by which information is stored:
Hard Drives
RAM: very limited and volatile, i.e. phones, slows them down, same thing with video games and
computer systems.
Which of these two is most like LTM? WM?
Experiments supporting the modal model
presented long series of words (e.g. 30)
free recall afterward
look at the position in the list (serial recall)
much more accurate with first few and last few
The curve shows that the accuracy of the words recalled, 40 something % first few, 80% last few
Primacy effect
better memory for first few items
memory rehearsal
Recency effect
better memory for the last few items
based on WM
last few words are still in WM, easy to recall. They're still in that RAM storage. If you had some
type of rehearsal going on in your head, the first word gets the most rehearsal. That rehearsal is
moving that word from WM to LTM. The first few set of words are being shoved to LTM. Last
few are remaining in the WM at the moment in the test.
Graph here shows recall, red line is showing immediate recall right after the list. There's a good
amount of recall for the last few sets of words. Unfilled delay, people can continue to rehearse
it. If you ask someone to do something else that involves the working memory, they can no
longer recall the last few set of words.
30 seconds not enough to wipe out recency
another task is needed to do so
People tend to talk about studying and the best methodologies. The point is to take breaks at a
frequency that will increase your primacy and recency effects. If you jump into something else,
and haven't rehearsed, high chances you lose the information. You can think about the stuff you
just read as you begin your break. That strategy allows you to retain more information on an
initial read instead of sitting there for 2 hours and read. That's why cramming doesn't work. It's
not problems with understanding but with encoding and retrieving. This strategy creates
stronger connections.
Slow presentation aids pre-recency items
It gets less rehearsal as time goes on. But it's shown that if you delay presentation time, the
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early items are a little bit better as opposed to not having slow presentation. But it actually lasts
a bit longer. That implies that people are better at recalling the first set of words with the idea
that they're able to move this into the LTM.
Recency effect the same
Memory for the rest of the list is better
Primacy associated with hippocampus
Associated more with LTM
Working memory associated with perirhinal cortex
Words that are recalled near the end for the most recent words, associated with perirhinal
virtually all mental activities require WM
goal driven behaviour
some tasks demand more WM resources than others
individual differences in WM capacity predict some cognitive abilities
Digit span task
participant asked to remember digits
list increased until memory fails
maximum number is the digit span
the ability to condense information
requires effort
reduces load
does not increase WM
e.g. HOP TRA SLU, splitting this up into syllables. It only takes up 3 spaces. If HOPTRA was a
word, that only takes up one space. You can increase what appears to be a limited set of WM,
increasing it to a higher level.
one metaphor for WM is a loading dock
mechanically transfers input to and from LTM
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