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PSY100- Oct 20, 2011.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Dan Dolderman

PSY100 Attention and Memory - Formation of memories is going to depend on your expectations - Spotlight of attention; what doesn’t shine on stays in the dark, you have smaller chance of remembering things and most of it is lost - Keeping a smaller subset of info so that brain focuses on that while everything else is lost - Brain system is tracking everything (sensory memory system); picking up everything going on, even things you don’t realize- will still get sense of situation, you notice things, but are not necessarily aware of this but still observe it because system catches everything, more or less Sensory memory • A memory system that momentarily preserves extremely accurate images of sensory info • Info that is not quickly passed to short term memory is gone forever Sperling memory example… - In lab, had people look at specific spots on screen and would show something for a small amount of time and then ask questions about it - Would be letters or numbers Sensory memory is brief • Iconic memory was demonstrated in sperlings classic experiment (exposure= 1/20 of a second) and lasts about 1/3 second • Echoic memory (last two seconds..” sure I was listening, you said XXX) • Iconic and echoic memory systems may allow us to experience the world as a continuous stream Inattetional memory: Change interaction - Don’t notice certain minor details that occur when focusing on something else - Eg. gorilla in the basketball video - Eg. on street someone asks for directions, and if that person switches with someone else through a distraction, the person answering the question would not notice that the person had changed (5 seconds just talked to them) - Once attention is top-down engaged, then completely changes experience (once you except something, or know something is coming, it makes you aware and once you do, it is impossible not to notice- since your brain extracts info from environment in a consistent way) Short term memory - Gives ability to track reality; complexity of info you can think within a minute is significantly more than you would in a couple seconds - This is very limited (short span of your short term system; shortage space; about 7 +/- 2, units of amount of things you can keep stored in WM) - Even though this is a limited capacity, those 7 or more units can expand; can be different levels or organization with further info - One unit can have access to a huge amount of info - Amount of info you can store within each unit varies significantly Chunking - Is meaningful unit of info which may be composed of smaller units o U N I C E F C S I S (unicef csis) - Processing more and more info using same cognitive resources (what your conscious attention can handle) - Within limited space, you can increase density of info - More info retrieved when you speak because more patterns get processed eg. Example with remembering the pie numbers- said to each other and recognized pattern, did better than others through different approach) The value of chunking - The way you think of something is in terms of higher patterns - Wouldn’t see piece to piece of something, you think of strategies, orientations, etc, Transfer from STM to LTM - Something has to do this; amount of rehearsal we have with info will increase amount of info transferred to LTM- amount of activation you have with that info o Also connections are important (multiple pathways of retrieving info) o Different transfer process from STM to LTM; this represents your ability to transfer- hippocampus does this mainly (if this is damaged, then they cant form new memories H.M. - Frozen in time; existed in minute by minute chunks - Easily distracted, so his old reality gets erased really fast and has no ability to retrieve it because it didn’t get transferred forward from STM to LTM (getting milk from store then get distracted along way, eg.) - Could remember past memories; therefore different brain associations - Then researcher discovered that henry could still learn motor skills - eg. mirror tracing; shows increase in ability after doing time after time, even if he has no memory of doing it - He has no idea he has done it before; but he got almost perfect at it within 3 days - Means there is a diff memory system for tracking moments or remembering something from past; - Without the ability to encode new declarative or episodic memories, his life as very difficult. He couldn’t make friends or know what’s wrong with him, he forgot where he was and became upset and surprised at his age when he looked at mirror, grieved his mothers death every time he heard about it etc… Memory lane… - Attaching your own personal stories to info, much more easily to remember because you are chunking info to stories and a better chance of remembering them - Can remember memories from a long time ago, stay with you - Ways that neurons interact is what gives you flexibility; different regions work for different things Long term memory - The memory system involved in the long term storage of info - All random little bits of info that you remember and skills, is all housed in a small amount of space- amount of patterns you have o Memory system splits to implicit and explicit o Declarative memory- episodic, semantic o Implicit: procedural, classical conditioning, priming  You know that you know how to do certain things, that’s a fact of your declarative memory system, but the actual memory of doing it is through implicit memory of how to do it, happens through unconscious memory because you cant possible remember every detail of the action The power of suggestion - Researchers have been able to induce people to “recall” complicated events from early in life that never actually happened, such as getting lost in a shopping mall o Phony Disneyland commercial featuring bugs bunny  1/3 to recall meeting bugs and Disneyland! - There are inaccuracies; they are impressive with how much can store, but are also not flawless since they reflect associations made in past (memories can be guided and biased really subtly that you don’t realize) - “Hm..maybe that did happen to me…” can get people to remember things that didn’t happen - People reconstruct memories in a way that makes sense to them even if it is not true - Some people remember specific details like shaking hands with someone o If really young, like 1, it guarantees that most memories are not true; what is really remembered are the stories told (but specific details will not remember) will remember a general idea o People can get convinced of their memories even if it did not happen - When we remember things we activate certain meanings even if concepts weren’t there (on a list of sweet things, will remember word sweet eg
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