PSY270H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Change Detection, Dependent And Independent Variables, Implicit Learning

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Published on 13 Mar 2019
PSY270 Lecture 5: Long-Term Memory: Systems and Processes
Baddeley’s WM Model (from previous lecture)
Central Executive
Central executive is responsible for retrieving information from the
storage systems and LTM
Important for planning what is needed and important for integrating
Found evidence that the CE does not have any storage capacity. Has
resources, but those resources are attention resources, not memory
resources. CE does not store information, only coordinates the storage
An important function for CE is regulating relevant and irrelevant
People who have a better ability to inhibit irrelative information have a
higher memory capacity
Better ability to inhibit leads to higher capacity
Vogel et al., 2005
Change detection paradigm
Independent variable:The number of items presented
One condition has two items, another condition has four items
Third condition: presenting four items but telling participants they
only had to remember the red ones
Dependent variable: brain activity as measured by ERP (the
higher the line the higher the brain activity)
Divided participants into high working memory capacity groups
and low working memory capacity groups
In the high capacity group, brain activity increased when they had
to remember 4 items
As the items to be remember increases, brain activity
What happens when 4 items present, two irrelevant, two relevant
High capacity performed as though there were only two
items present
In low capacity group, performed similarly to as though
there were four items present, they were not successfully
inhibiting the relevant items
Individuals with low capacity have low capacity
because they’re really processing everything
Individuals with high capacity could see four items,
see two items, and have space for two more items
For low capacity groups, see four items, will see all
four items and have no space for two more items
even though two of the items are irrelevant,
reduces capacity
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Role of central executive decides what should be processed and
what shouldn’t be
Measuring WM
One way to measure independent working memory capacity is operation
Short term memory tasks only have storage component, working
memory tasks have a storage and processing component
Spam tasks correlate with many everyday tasks, including
academic performance
Researchers who use this method are interested in individual
differences in task performance
Are correlated with everyday performance. If you score high on operation
tasks then you will do better on everyday tasks (reading comprehension,
The Binding Problem
How we put the separate perceptual pieces together in a whole unit
Any cognitive model that proposes separate processing subsystems need
to explain how this information is combined into an integrated cognitive
Separate auditory component and visual component. However, most of
our memories are not strictly visual or strictly verbal so we have a binding
problem. Central executive has no storage so it can’t store a memory that
has visual and verbal information. This was a problem for Baddeley’s
model and he came up with a newer theory
Baddeley’s revised WM model (2000)
Added episodic buffer: multimodal storage buffer, holds episodic memory
(things that have visual and verbal components and stores information
about time and space)
Episodic Buffer
Used to integrate information from different modalities into a complete
Binds information from WM components and LTM
It is a limited capacity buffer
Controlled by central executive
Has access to LTM
Other WM models
Other models are domain general and assume parallel activation
E.g. Cowan
We don’t have separate memory systems
What we have is memory. What is in working memory in any given
component is what we focus attention on. If we focus attention in
our memory system, those memories become temporarily active
so we can process them. No buffer systems - there’s a memory
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system and we move attention around and it becomes active.
Memory system is active as we move attention around
Tighter link between sensory memory and attention and long-term
memory. Sees it as a continuum rather than separate systems
Long Term Memory
Memory is vital for our lives because it contains everything we know
If we didn’t have memory we’d be living in the present all the time
Don’t talk about limiting factors
We don’t know the duration of LTM (limitless)
We don’t know the capacity of LTM
Capacity is limitless but we don’t remember everything
The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve
⅓ of what we encode is what we remember. We can continue to encode
new information and continue to encode ⅓ of that
Tested by memorizing cue cards until he could remember them all
Memory drops significantly at the beginning and eventually plateau’s
Very broadly, we can say information in LTM is stored semantically
Whether we are able to remember items from LTM depends on how they were
encoded and how we attempt to retrieve them
When talking about LTM we are interested in the encoding and retrieval
Memory Systems and Processes
Two different approaches to studying LTM
Systems approach: concerned with the type of memory. Considers
different types of LTM that stores different types of information. Similar to
what we talk about with WM (different storage units that store different
types of information)
Levels of Processing theory
Historically, researchers have taken either a systems approach or a levels of
processing approach to memories
One of the earliest systems frameworks concerned the distinction between
There is no experimental evidence for separate STM and LTM systems
Performance on laboratory memory tests nearly always produce a similar
pattern of forgetting
Memory Systems Frameworks
Serial position curve: memory is best for items at the beginning of the list and
items at the end of the list
Evidence for two separate memory systems: STM and LTM
In terms of free recall task
From STM to LTM
Primacy effect: items in beginning of lists are remembered
Thought to occur because those items are in long term memory
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