PSY260H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Twin, Long-Term Memory, Motor Skill

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26 Jul 2016
Lecture 6: Skill Memory
Kissing is not a skill that we are born with and that we have to practise to learn
oNeed practise, feedback and memories about successes and failures
oEasier to demonstrate than explain, experience can change ability
Gradually modify memories with repeated experience and change how the brain
structure is
Involve basal ganglia, cerebral cortex, cerebellum
Improves with practise and can be long lasting like declarative memory
Skill: Ability to perform a task that has been honed through learning
Similar to memories for events and facts but also have qualities like long lasting and
improved with repeated experience
Also called a procedural memory
Can’t always be verbalized and are acquired and retrieved without conscious awareness
 nondeclarative, procedural learning
Usually by observation like operant conditioning
How someone is trained affects their skill learning ability
Skill memories Memories for events and facts
1. Are difficult to convey except by
direct demonstration
2. May be acquired without awareness
3. Require several repetitions
1. Can be communicated flexibly in
different formats
2. Have content that is consciously
3. Can be acquired in a single exposure
Two different long term memory systems
- Procedural memory for skills
- Declarative memory for facts (semantic) and life history (episodic)
Perceptual-motor skills: Learned movement patterns guided by sensory inputs
Dancing needs inputs for all body parts and voluntary control of body, moving to a beat
needs timed auditory inputs
Closed skills: Predefined sequence of movements, like ballet dancing
Open skills: Skills about predictions due to demands of changing environment, has many
environmental variables
Cognitive skills: Solve problems or apply strategies rather that to move your body based on
what you perceive
Tower of Hanoi – move different sized disks until the it goes from smallest to largest on
Associate cognitive skills with ability to reason and solve problems or to perform tasks
that require sorting through large amounts of knowledge
Decartes thought that this is what separated humans form animals
Many think that humans are the only ones who can reason or perform complex
cognitive tasks but animals can learn cognitive skills
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oAnimals use tools to find food
Dolphin tricks on command are cognitive skills that are also closed perceptual-motor
skills when the trainer gives a signal
oSignal associated with motor response
oRecalls cognitive skill through recall and re-enactment which can be improved
through practise
The difference between cognitive skills and perceptual-motor skills may be in how they
are learned, remembered, forgotton, etc or where they are formed and recalled in the
Different individuals start with different capabilities, and the extent to which practise
can improve them depends on each person
Most skills involve both cognitive and perceptual-motor components – learning for both
types of skills seems similar
Talent: Skills that people can master with little effort
Expert: Someone who can perform a skill better than most
Those who perform a skill better are those who become experts
Mozart’s father taught him his music skills – was he a genius or just a product of his
Effort is required in all cases – even talented people must practise to become true
Keep pointed end of stick above a target on the edge of a rotating disk – rotary pursuit
task for perceptual-motor learning
oIn twins they improve at the same rate but fraternal twins show that their
capacity to track becomes less similar with practise
oShows that effects of previous experience on motor performance increases the
effects of genetic influences
Look only at TRIALs if you are comparing between
twins, not blocks of trials
Practise effects – all participants became skilled at this task
oGenetic effects – identical twins were more similar in their performance than
fraternal twins
During the experiment, practise decreases the effects of participant’s prior experiences
on the accuracy of their tracking movements and increases the effects of genetic
oThe more practise people have the more the differences are due to genetics
Identical twins have identical genes so when practise increase the role of their genes on
behaviour, their behaviour becomes closer to identical
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oFraternal have different genes so different behaviours
May be same for cognitive skills and complex perceptual motor skills
You may have hidden talents you don’t know about because you never practised them
– maybe genetic analyses in the future can predict them
Some think that talent plays no role in expertise and that practise alone determines
oMinimum of 10 000 hours of practise is what is needed to become an expert but
this may not be true for kids who master stuff
Talent also plays a role – those who perform a skill well are more likely to become
Games outside of lab is ‘real world skill’
oExpert chess players found that experts and less experienced players scan the
game board but experts have eyes that focus on small number of locations and
novices look at everywhere
If same amount of practise talent effects are evident – 2 pianists and 1 is accepted to
Julliard and the other is not
If talent is the same, practise effects are evident – 2 identical twins, one is a concert
pianist and the other is not
Inexperienced soccer player tend to watch the ball and the player who is passing it but
experts focus on movements of players who do not have the ball
Basketball players who are experienced are better able to predict the outcome of a shot
based on viewing a player’s movements before the ball was released than were
oPerceptual learning may contribute to superior abilities of experts
Computers can become highly skilled with no practise
oAccess large databases of stored information to replicate some of the abilities of
human experts
oProgrammed to improve based on past experiences
Computers can copy information but we can’t
Men acquire more cognitive skills related to retrieving and applying scientific
knowledge during early education than women based on test scores – don’t know why
oThat is some fucking bullshit right there I slayed every other dude’s scores in my
class IDGAF about what this shit says im angry now
The more you perform a skill the faster or better you will be able to perform it in the
oThorndike blindfolded individuals to draw a like 3in long and half the
participants were told their line was within 1/8 in of the target and others were
not given any feedback
oOnly the ones with feedback progressed in the right direction disproving above
Some psychologists think that practise is not sufficient to become an expert – always
need practise
oPerhaps the level you achieve depends on practise
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