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
Working memory is active
o chunking reduces information into units that are easier to
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
The medial temporal lobes are important for consolidation of declarative
introducing new material involves changes in neural connections. the
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
Neurochemistry underlies memory
o modulate storage of memories
o epinephrine enhances memory
o amygdala is responsible for memory modulation through
When Do People Forget?
Transience is caused by interference
o forgetting over time is due to interference from both old and new
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
Neuroscience may make it possible to distinguish between "true" and
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
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.
Selective Listening - The cockail party phenomenon:
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
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
Chunking: Organizing information into more manageable units in order for
Long-Term Memory (LTM): The relatively permanent storage of information
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
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
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
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