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Psy100 - Chapter Seven - Attention and Memory

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Ashley Waggoner Denton

Key Points: How Does Attention Determine What is Remembered?  Visual attention is selective  Auditory attention allows for selective listening o we can attend to more than one message at a time, but not well.  Selective attention can operate at multiple stages of processing o missing something in our optical field (change blindness) What Are the Basic Stages of Memory?  Sensory memory is brief o memories are maintained long enough to ensure a continuous sensory experience  Working memory is active o chunking reduces information into units that are easier to remember  Long-term memory is relatively permanent o meaningful memories are stored in network-like structures What Are the Different Long-Term Memory Systems?  Explicit memory involves conscious effort o include personal events  Implicit memory occurs without deliberate effort o learning to do things automatically  Prospective memory is remembering to do something How is Information Organized in Long-Term Memory?  Long-term storage is based on meaning o encoding info in more meaningful ways  Schemas provide an organizational framework o aid in the organization of memories  Information is stored in association networks o formed by nodes of info, linked together  Retrieval cues provide access to long-term storage o reduced attention, reduced working memory capability What Brain Processes are Involved in Memory?  There has been intensive effort to identify memory's physical location o a number of specific brain regions contribute to learning and memory  The medial temporal lobes are important for consolidation of declarative memories introducing new material involves changes in neural connections. the hippocampus is important for declarative memories, place cells in the hippocampus aid spatial memory.  The frontal lobes are involved in many aspects of memory o activation of neurons in the frontal lobe is associated with deeper meaning  Neurochemistry underlies memory o modulate storage of memories o epinephrine enhances memory o amygdala is responsible for memory modulation through nonepinephrine receptors. When Do People Forget?  Transience is caused by interference o forgetting over time is due to interference from both old and new information.  Blocking is temporary o "tip-of-the-tongue" phenomenon  Absentmindedness results from shallow encoding o inattentive or shallow processing  Amnesia is a deficit in long-term memory o injury and disease can result in amnesia o retrograde = inability to recall the past o anterograde = inability to form new memories How Are Memories Distorted?  Flashbulb memories can be wrong o strong emotional connection to event may cause inaccuracy  People make source misattributions o misremember the source of a memory  People are bad eyewitnesses o suggestibility leads to misinformation  Critical thinking skill: recognizing how the fallibility of human memory can lead to faulty conclusions  People have false memories o can be implanted o confabulation (repressed) can occur because of brain damage  Repressed memories are controversial o some therapy techniques can result in fake repressed memories  People reconstruct events to be consistent o tend to maintain sameness between past memories and current knowledge/attitudes  Neuroscience may make it possible to distinguish between "true" and "false" memories o may be able to distinguish true memories from false ones How Can We Improve Learning and Memory?  Mnemonics are useful learning strategies o retrieval through frequent testing, overlearning, more sleep, spacing study sessions, imagery Attention The ability to direct something in ourselves is called attention.  In order for something to be remembered, it must be attended to.  Attention is selective because it is limited.  Selective attention is adaptive.  When attention is divided amongst too many things, performance suffers. Visual Attention  We automatically identify "primitive" features in our environment, such as colour, shape, and movement.  Separate systems analyze objects' different visual features.  Parallel processing allows us to process information from different visual features consecutively by focusing on targets over distractors.  o The target will pop out at you.  Serial Processing is searching for two or more features, which is slow and effortful. o Takes longer and requires more attention  o Must examine each target one-by-one.  A conjunction task is when you are looking for a stimulus made of two simple features. Auditory Attention  Selective Listening - The cockail party phenomenon:  o Shadowing o  A person hears two messages, one presented to the left ear and the other presented to the right). They must attend to one of the messages. Change Blindness: The failure to notice large environmental changes Memory Basic Stages of Memory  Encoding: Processing information so it can be stored  Storage: Retention of encoded information over time that corresponds with some kind of change in the nervous system, thereby registering the event  Retrieval: Recalling stored information in order to use it Many scientists describe memory as a three-part system that involves sensory memory, short- term memory, and long-term memory.  This is called the modal memory model. Sensory Memory: A memory for sensory information stored briefly close to its original form.  Our sensory memory allows us to experience the world as a continuous stream rather than in discrete sensations.  Short-Term Memory (STM): A limited capacity system that holds memories for a brief period of time  o Part of the Working Memory (keeps different types of information available for current use) Chunking: Organizing information into more manageable units in order for easier recall. Long-Term Memory (LTM): The relatively permanent storage of information Nearly limitless  Serial Position Effect: The ability to recall items from a list depends on order of presentation, with items presented early or late in the list remembered better than those in the middle.  o Primary Effect: Better memory for items at the start of the list o Recency Effect: Better memory for items at the end of the list  ]verlearning: Rehearsing facts for better recollection  Distributed Practice: Material studied multiple sessions over time Memory allows us to use information in ways that assist in reproduction and survival. Implicit Memory: The system underlying unconscious memories  influences our life in subtle ways, as when our attitudes are influenced by implicit learning  o Eg) people reminding you of other people, but you don't know who/how  influences our purchasing decisions.  o Eg) constant exposure to brand names  involved in repetition priming - identifying or processing a stimulus that has been experienced previously  an example of Implicit Memory is Procedural Memory (or motor memory) which involve motor skills, habits, and other behaviours employed to achieve goals.  Prospective Memory, another link to Implicit Memory, involves remembering to do something in the future. Explicit Memory: Remembering specific information Declaritive Memory: Cognitive information retrieved from explicit memory; knowledge that can be declared Episodic Memory: Memory for one's personal past experiences Semantic Memory: Knowledge of the world Memories are stored by meaning. Levels of Processing Model: The more meaning something has, the bett
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