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Lecture 6

PSY270H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Little Albert Experiment, Implicit Memory, Reinforcement

Course Code
Gillian Rowe

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Long term memory: look at the different types LTM, being either declarative or
Characteristics of LTM part 1: capacity and duration, coding.
Look at the hippocampus and memory
1. Long term memory is an “archive” of information about past events and
experiences, and the knowledge learned.
oLTM works closely with working memory, which is more temporary.
oStorage stretches from just a few moments ago to as far back as you can
remember from childhood.
oThere is a decency for recent memories to be often more detailed.
oLTM is robust, meaning information is less likely to be forgotten is the brain is
oOne interesting thing about LTM, is that when you see something you never
seen before, you are likely to recognize it because it may be similar to
something else you have seen—you brain retrieves that info and match it.
2. Dissociation between STM and LTM: you can determine this by using double
oSerial position effect (class demo): refers to the finding that recall accuracy varies as
a function of an item's position within a study list. i.e. the primacy and recency effect.
oPatient findings:
Clive Wearing (had herpes encephalitis during flu epidemic which caused severe
amnesia) and HM: both had impaired LTM and okay STM
KF: impaired STM and okay LTM
Note: retrograde amnesia (patients have memories before the disorder) is not so
common and anterograde amnesia (patients have memories after the disorder) is
more common.
oBrain imaging:
EXPERIMENT: Talmi et al: information early on in the list activated areas
associated with LTM. Found very little information with the recency effect.
3. Types of Long term Memory:
oLTM is divided into two main types of memory:
Declarative (Explicit) memory: conscious recollection of events experienced and
fact learned. Thus declarative is divided into two sub-categories:
Episodic: memories of events and past experiences. Why do
we have episodic memory? We have episodic memory as a
survival mechanism caused complex brain with multiple
EXPERIMENT: Dr. Endel Tulving (2005) was interested in different
memory systems and how they worked. He was interested into going
back in time in our mind and relive information. Thus mental time
travel: “autonoetic consciousness”. He suggested that true episodic
memory is uniquely human.
-Or is it?
Clayton and Dickinson
(1998): should use
Tulving’s original
definition of episodic
events: what, where
and when. In their
experiment, they used scrub
jays, which prefer worms over peanuts. They
taught the birds that the worms will decay over time, through experience;
if long period of time, they would ignore the worms and eat the peanuts.
-They found that they would remember which food (W or P) was hidden
first. If W were hidden first, they would have gone quickly for the nuts.
SO scrub jays remember what, where and when; they seem to
remember which food source they buried first; what it is and when it
was. However critics say that the behaviour can be due to conditioning.
Semantic: facts and knowledge
Non-declarative (Implicit/Procedural) memory: memory that unconsciously
influences behaviour.
-In implicit memory, you have no memory of actual learning, for example, you
won’t know how you actually learned that Toronto is a city in Ontario. Difficult
to break out of habit. Doing it over and over again, the pathways will be more
likely to be activated. Our awareness influences behaviour in many ways.
Perform procedures without being consciously aware of HOW to do them.
Consciously thinking about procedure can cause problems. For example, let’s
say you are riding a bike. Thinking of the steps involved in riding a bike may
interfere with performance. People who can’t form new LTM’s can still learn
new skills. For example H.M.
EXPERIMENT: Perfect and Askew (1994) study; asked to scan articles in a
magazine (adverts included). They participants were told not pay attention to
the adverts, and later on, they showed the adverts (some from articles some
never exposed to) and asked them to rate adverts on # of dimensions—
appeal, eye-catching, distinct, memorable. Higher rating for those from the
magazine—implications for the advertisements. If they were asked which
they’d seen before, there was a less likely chance that they would know.
-every day experience: propaganda effect more likely to rate statements
read or heard before as being true simply b/c of prior exposure. So more