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Lecture 4

46-358 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Long-Term Memory, Interference Theory, Sensory Memory

Course Code
PSYC 3580
Anne Baird

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Working Memory
Sensory memory is a system that temporarily stores information from senses. Has very
large capacity and records information with fairly good accuracy.
A schema is a generalized, well-integrated knowledge about a situation, an event, or a
person. Schemas allow people to predict what will happen in a new situation. These
predictions are generally correct.
Working memory: brief, immediate memory for limited amount of material that a person
is currently processing. Part of working memory also actively coordinates ongoing
mental activities. In current research, working memory is more popular than a similar but
older term, short term memory.
Orienting attention network is a system responsible for kind of attention required for
visual search, in which a person must shift her or his attention around to various spatial
The binding problem: characteristic of visual system where characteristics such as color
and shape can be registered separately. As a result, visual system may not represent these
important features of an object as a unified whole.
We are aware of working memory at any given time
-Stores immediate experiences
-Reach back into long term memory
-Mixes and processes info
Working memory capacity:
-Those with this do better on tests, have higher levels of writing ability, can reason at
higher levels
We can remember about 4 things for 10-20 seconds in working memory, unless we store
it, communicate it, etc.
Chunking: basic unit of short-term memory, consisting of several components strongly
associated with each other. This code originates from long term memory.
-Recoding: relies on long term memory.
-Long-term memory
-Takes time
Serial position effect
-Recency effect: remembering words at the end of the list better
-Primacy effect: remembering words at the beginning of the list better . Strengthened
by increasing time between presentation of each word in list. Weakened by increasing
length of list.
-U-shaped function determining that participants remember words near the beginning
or the end of a list the best
Brown/Peterson & Peterson task
-Participants must hold short novel sequence in mind while performing some other
-Peterson and Peterson found that their participants recalled fewer letters as the
amount of rehearsal prevention increased, bottoming out around 15-18 seconds.
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