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Lecture 7

Psychology 1000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Master Control, Neural Pathway, Celery

Course Code
PSYCH 1000
Derek Quinlan

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Chapter 8 Psych 1000 Week 7
= Processes that allow us to record and later retrieve experiences and info
Memory as Information Processing
The mind as a processing system encodes, stores, and retrieves info
Encoding: info into system by translating it into neural code that brain processes
Storage: retaining info over time
Retrieval: pull info out of storage when you want to use it
A Three-Component Model
Memory has 3 major components:
(1) Sensory memory
(2) Short-term “working” memory
(3) Long-term memory
Sensory Memory
= Holds incoming sensory info just long enough for it to be recognized
Subsystems called sensory registers, i.e., the initial info processors
(1) Visual register = iconic store
o Stores info very briefly
(2) Auditory register = echoic store
o Lasts longer than iconic memory
o Complete echoic trace, lasts ~2 s
o Partial echoic trace, lasts several more
Short-Term/Working Memory
Through selective attention, small portion of sensory memory enters STM
STM: holds info we are conscious of at any given time
“Working” memory because consciously processes, codes, and “works” on info
Memory Codes
Once info leaves sensory memory, it must be represented by some type of code if
it is to be retained in STM and eventually LTM
e.g., phone # you just looked up must become represented in your mind
Memory codes: mental representations that can take many forms, such as:
(1) Mental image, i.e., visual encoding
(2) Sound, i.e., phonological encoding
(3) Meaning, i.e., semantic encoding
(4) Movement patterns, i.e., motor encoding
Form of memory code does not correspond to the form of the original stimulus
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Chapter 8 Psych 1000 Week 7
e.g., reading these words may be phonological code instead of imaged
When people asked to recall list of words, the errors are often phonetic
May recall a V instead of a B because similarity in sound
Capacity & Duration
STM is limited in amount of info it can hold in a given amount of time
No more than 5-9 meaningful items in STM
“The magical number 7+/-2”
STM capacity concerns the number of meaningful units that can be recalled
17 letters translated into 5 meaningful (words) units
Combining individual items into larger units of meaning = chunking
o Greatly aids recall
STM limited in duration and capacity
Forgetting someone’s name…
Without rehearsal, info in STM is short, perhaps ~20 s
By rehearsing, we can extend duration is STM indefinitely
Maintenance rehearsal: repetition of info to keep in STM
e.g., repeating phone # in your head that you just looked up
Elaborative rehearsal: focus on meaning of info/relate to things we already know
Both rehearsals keep info active in STM, but elaborative > maintenance for LTM
Putting STM “To Work”
Items that remain in STM long enough, eventually transfer into LTM
See STM as actively and simultaneously processes different types of info and
supports other cognitive functions (e.g., planning), and interacts w/LTM
“Working memory” four components:
(1) Phonological loop
o Maintain some info in an auditory working memory
o e.g., repeating phone # in your head
(2) Visual-spatial sketchpad
o Temporarily store and manipulate images and spatial info
o e.g., forming mental maps of the route to some destination
(3) Episodic buffer
o Temporary storage space where info from LTM and from (1) and
(2) can be integrated, manipulated, and made available for
conscious awareness
o e.g., “what’s 87+36?” --- phonological loop maintains acoustic
codes for sounds of numbers, visual-spatial sketchpad mental
image of numbers, and “how to add” comes from LTM
o Also comes into play when chunking info
(4) Central executive
o Directs the action
o Decides how much attention to allocate to mental imager and
auditory rehearsal, calls up info from LTM, and integrates input
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Chapter 8 Psych 1000 Week 7
Long-Term Memory
= Vast library of more durable stored memories
Capable of forming new LTMs until we die (w/o brain damage)
LTM = unlimited
Once formed, a given LTM can endure for up to a lifetime
Numbers at beginning and end of a list are easiest to recall
Serial position effect: recall influenced by word’s position in a series of items
(1) Primacy effect: superior recall of early words
(2) Recency effect: superior recall of most recent words
What causes primary effect?
Can quickly rehearse first words and transfer into LTM
As list goes on, STM rapidly fills up
If list is presented faster, primacy effect vanishes
o That is, people cannot rehearse because not enough time
What causes recency effect?
Last few words not “bumped out” of STM by any new info
How to eliminate recency but not primacy?
Eliminate words from STM through delayed recall
Even by ~15-30 s, prevented from rehearsing last words
Encoding: Entering Information
More effectively we encode material into LTM, greater likelihood of retrieving it
Effortful & Automatic Processing
Effortful processing: encoding initiated intentionally, requires conscious attention
e.g., remembering names, phone #, computer passwords, schoolwork
Rehearsing, making lists, and taking class notes
Automatic processing: encoding that occurs w/o intention, requires min attention
Not remembering what’s in the diagram, but remembering where it is on
the page; not trying to learn this, but appears to have transferred into LTM
Info about freq., spatial location, sequence, and timing = automatic
Levels of Processing: When Deeper is Better
(1) POTATO “is the word in capital letters?”
Requires superficial structural encoding
Only have to notice how the word looks
(2) Horse “does the word rhyme with course?”
Must engage in phonological encoding
Have to sound out word first and see if it actually does
(3) TABLE “does the word fit in the sentence, ‘the man peeled the ___’?
Requires semantic encoding
Must pay attention to what the word means
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