Lecture 5- Feb 13.rtf

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22 Apr 2012
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PSY100: Memory
February 13, 2012
The Paradox of Memory
Memory: the nervous system's capacity to acquire and
retain usable skills and knowledge
Our memories are surprisingly good in some situations and
surprisingly poor in others
Memory can be surprisingly good
In one study, students saw 2560 photographs of objects
for only a few seconds each.
There was a 93% recognition rate!
Sometimes, these feats of memory are linked to autism.
Ex: Kim Peek, the inspiration for Rain Man
The Fallibility of Memory
It can also be surprisingly bad
Suggestive memory techniques:
procedures that strongly encourage patients to recall
memories often create recollections that
were not really there to begin with
Memory illusion:
false but subjectively compelling memory
our brain goes beyond the information it has at its disposal
to fill in the blanks and make meaning of
information
The Reconstructive Nature of Memory
We actively reconstruct our memories using cues and
information available to us.
We do not passively reproduce them as if a movie is being
replaced in our minds
Memories can be recalled from 3rd person, as if someone
was playing it back to you
Attention
We are being bombarded with sensory information all of
the time
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Only if we attend to the sensory information will it get into
the next memory system, short-term memory.
Selective Attention:
selecting one sensory channel; ignoring/minimizing others
The Reticular Activating System and the basal forebrain
are involved
filter theory of attention
We screen incoming information, only letting in the most
important
Change blindness: the common failure to notice large
changes in environments
Memory
H.M.
Patient HM had portions of his hippocampus surgically
removed
Which appeared to destroy the mechanism that transfers
info from STM to LTM
He could remember everything up to the surgery but
nothing after
He could still use implicit memory and improve on tasks
involving practice
Can also keep info temporarily in working memory
When the hippocampus is damaged/removed, explicit
memory is impaired, but impaired memory is
Modal memory model
The memory system shaw three stages
Sensory memory
Short-term memory
Long-term memory
Each differs in terms of L
Span
Sensory memory
very brief storage of perceptual info
each sense has its own form
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passes info into short-term memory
Short term memory
limited-capacity memory system that retains info for
limited durations
the info that we are currently thinking about attending to
or processing actively
also called working memory
have to rehearse info that is in or short-term memory it
will disappear very quickly
Decay:
fading of info from memory over the course of about 18
sec
Interference
loss of info from memory because of competition from
incoming info, not from the mere
passage of time
Retroactive interference (also called retroactive inhibition)
interferes with retention of old info
Proactive interference (proactive inhibition)
interfere with retention of new info
because of the previously learned, old info
Memory span: span is 7 +/- 2 (5-9 things)
Chunking: organizing info into meaningful groupings
Larger chunks improve STM
Rehearsal:
mentally repeating the info to keep it alive in STM
Maintenance rehearsal
repeating in original format
if we stop repeating it, it will slide away and we'll forget it
Elaborative rehearsal
linking info in a meaningful way to the self or what the self
knows
requires more effort
Levels of processing model of memory
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