Lecture 7 - 02-25-13
Learning as Preparation for Retrieval
Different forms of Memory testing
Theoretical Treatments of Implicit Memory
Learning as Preparation for Retrieval
We talked a lot about memory in terms of making connections. The more the connections, the
better the memory is. Deep learning usually talks about some deep meaning and in doing that,
you bring up past knowledge and connections to the information that you're learning. When
we're talking about learning new material, we can talk about retrieval path. Ending with what
we just learned and coming from some other information like cues or hints that people give us
or from our environment that brings some cues back to us to help memory.
When you're writing an exam, you might have a question where you have to define a cell in
biology and now it's your job to find that retrieval path to be able to recall that information.
Context dependent learning is dependent on the state one is during acquisition
Context dependent learning/state-dependent learning is the idea that the context you're in
assist your ability to recall something depending on whether it's congruent - the same type of
context - or incongruent - a different type of context.
Example from textbook: classical article from literature on how context can be important. They
had people learn new information on land or underwater. When they are then tested again for
that information, they can be tested either on land/under water. They found that people who
learn the information on land recalled the information better on land, same thing for
underwater. The opposite is the case as well.
Context reinstatement, or re-creating the context present during learning, improves memory
e.g. divers, noisy environment, smells, rooms
psychological context is key not physical context
It's not only the divers and the people in water/land that changes things. There are tons of
studies that something as simple as if we were taking the course in the lecture and doing the
exam in the lecture as opposed to doing it in the gym. What does this mean for people online?
There's a context of the fact that learning the material in a certain context, you'll do better if
you're doing the exam in the same context. Another one is smell; smelling someone's perfume
or cologne - that you knew from someone in the past and brings up memories, popcorn. These
can cue memories and can improve memory if you're learning something that time. The
interesting part of this and this is somewhat of a better message, it's not necessarily the physical
context. You don't have to be physically in this room to do better. It means that it's a
psychological context. Just thinking about this room or just thinking about where you were when you were studying can help you. There's been studies that have shown that if you ask the
participant to visualize where they were where they were when they memorized the list of
words. Some people have gotten accustomed to doing this. We talked last week about making
these connections and the types of meanings associated, those can help us recall what we were
doing or thinking at the time. How does this relate to the deep learning?
There was a study done; they were looking at two different factors. Fisher & Craik in 1977 had
participants learn a word or say that they'll be tested on that in the future, given a word pair.
Recall the second word. The first was related in one of two ways: semantically or that it rhymed
with the word. When something is semantic and you have to think about the meaning of the
word, that stimulates better recollection in the future. You're going to be able to recall that
information better. Whereas rhyming a word may not be as deep a process.
Words that have meaning, that are semantically related should stimulate better recollection.
Depth of processing chart..
Context reinstatement means that you learn that material better when you're brought back to
the context. If you have depth of processing + context reinstatement, that's the best way to
Encoding specificity - remembering something within a specific context. When we talk about
enconding, we're talking about how that information is brought in. We've seen something that's
come in, it's the actual process of learning, it's the couple steps down from information coming
in. Specificity means specific context. Now we're talking about something greater here in terms
of meaning. So not just physical context.
With this "Man__piano"
Man lifted/tuned piano; different types of hints elicit better memory. If it was something heavy,
that would be the man lifted the piano, or nice sound, the tuned piano. It's the type of
information that you're prompted with changes your ability to recall the information.
Something similar is one of these types of the dual interpretation of an image. If you hadn't seen
it and you look at it and you don't see it right away, we talk about this as a vase. Later on when
we talk about it, it's a good explanation that you might only recognize a certain interpretation of
Spreading Activation - travels from one node to another, via the associative links
Similar to neurons - input sums to reach a threshold, causing firing
Why does this all happen? What's a good explanation of why we see these results or what we
have these findings. Spreading activation is the idea that we play on a lot in terms of cognitive
psychology. Basically, spreading activation means if you think of all these things connected as
some net, let's visualize it as a net and with every connection in the net there is light bulbs.
These light bulbs are at the points of intersections (nodes). The bulbs can be on or off. Spreading
activation means that for a certain light to turn on, one of the other lights surrounding it must
be turned on to give that light power. In order for this light to actually turn on, it has to reach a certain threshold. How does this all explain what we're talking about? Let's think about this as
our item that we want to recall. Whatever that is, whether it's elicited a word in our list or
something we've learned, we are given information about the piano. Dwayne wants us to
remember the piano in which we read it in a context of heaviness/musical instrument.
Depending on where that information lies, it'll depending whether "the bulb" will be up to
threshold. If you've learned something about piano - heavy - now, the weight idea might be at a
node, and music on another. He's strengthened the relationship by providing the context as a
starting point. Priming means that you've seen a word before that causes you to
recall/remember that word better. (recall chapter 2 - "warmed up"/closer to threshold).
If what we're looking for is fire engine, and we ask what vehicle you saw yesterday, "what
vehicle? I saw 100 cars yesterday." "No no, remember the red one" "Ohhh, the fire truck." We
now just given two points of activation to our node of fire truck which comes to mind, now we
can recall the word firetruck.
Context again, whether it's physical or psychological, is thought of in the same way. If you have
the same context, you'll remember it better generally. If you add that to general cues or
prompting, you have two different nodes feeding activity to the point you want, and it'll light up.
If you study a ton, and you are just memorizing, trying to memorize the book, that isn't deep
processing. If when you're reading about this, you're connecting it with everything, you have
more nodes so it'll be easier to light up and recall that information. These things help us explain
why we see the results we see in these studies.
There was another experiment done showing how this idea was supported by others. If this is
what's happening, this is what we should see. The example is, if I give you two words, unrelated
words and then you later on have to recall the second word. In this study, you give two words
and you have to make some decision about the second word. If the words are related, the
participants were quicker at making the decision about the second word as opposed to being
unrelated. The hypothesis is that being that, if you have let's say bread and butter, those are
things that are presumed to be seen together many times. If bread is shown, you have to make a
decision about butter. Butter's already getting information, as soon as you see it, you can make
a quicker decision. Bread, chair, there's some delays in milliseconds. In terms of milliseconds,
the response time are significantly quicker when the words are related.
Different forms of memory testing.
This idea is that there's two ways in which we can retrieve information. One is through recall.
Recall task is basically, when you write an exam doing a short answer question, that's an
example of a recall task, with or without a cue. "What was the name of that restaurant (we went
to yesterday)", it requires some searching thru your memory. Where did I go yesterday? You
have to go thru the different steps. On the other hand, recognition would be "here's the list of
five restaurants, which were the ones you went to?" You can either recognize, you may have
known what the name was. Or you might have seen something familiar maybe cause you
remembered for sure or that it was familiar. When you think about multiple choice questions,
that's what you're doing. If you read your questions, you should always try recalling the answer
before looking at the options. Some professors trick you with wording, attribution errors. The
information that you can recall is done in a different processing compared to recognition.
Having both recall and recognition, that information is more precise in determining what is
correct. Familiarity without recollection is very common. Don't second guess yourself. With recognition, we can rely on source memory - i remember this word when you gave me this list of
words, or when I read the textbook. Familiarity is when you're not sure, but most likely you've
encountered it before. Recognition, you can use either of the two. Recall, you're using source
This has also been shown thru neural imaging studies. A lot of studies done use paradigms of
"remember-know" task. Here's a list of words remember them. Then you say, I'm going to test
you on them. Tell me was this word on the list, yes/no? Do you remember it being on the list?
Or do you know? People say why would you run these studies if you think it's on the list, you say
yeah of course I remember.
This information, what becomes familiar and what is remembered, when you look at it thru
neural imaging, you can see that the areas activated in the encoding process, you can determine
whether it's familiar or known. The Rhinal Cortex is related to familiarity, and the hippocampus
is related to recollection. The hippocampus is generally associated with episodic memory,
experience, you're remembering the source too. You can s