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Lecture

Long-Term Memory

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Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 2135A/B
Professor
Robert Brown
Semester
Fall

Description
Lecture 8 - Long Term Memory - we have many things to remember - memory is to guide behaviour; do what worked last time Characteristics of LTM Capacity - appears endless; always able to learn - when born, lots of neurons, but a lot die off as relations between some neurons are built; some brain cells can be made but very insignificant amount - 100 billion to 500 billion neurons; each neuron on average makes 10000 connections - connections appear to allow storage of information - neurons have random rate of firing and rate can increase or decrease due to presentation of stimulus; increases capacity of memory Duration - Harry Bahrick (1984); concept of permastore - tested older people on their recall off Spanish vocabulary learned in high school many years earlier; 50 years later, a lot of it survived; not used or rehearsed - General trend: recall declined for first 3 to 6 years; not much forgetting for the next three decades; final decline after 30 to 35 years - recognition is easier to remember - Herman Ebbinghaus (1850-1909); first scientific studies of memory; interested in forgetting; used himself as a subject (1885) - used nonsense syllables to avoid previous learning; study raw, unaided ability (this way is not natural; people remember by connecting new information to memory) - criteria: able to write a list down perfectly twice; find how long it took - after done criteria, see how much was forgotten over time - forgetting curve: most of loss occurs soon after learning - when relearning, had to read list much less times; shows some memory is still there even if cannot access it - saving score is difference of amount of trials needed to relearn and amount of trials needed to learn - showed person can have knowledge they do not know they have - learning curve: most learning occurs with first exposure to information, with diminishing returns for further exposures - distributed learning (across multiple sessions) is more effective than massed learning (all in one session) - doesn't allow more storage, allows more resistance to being forgotten - being tested allows easier memorizing [maybe] Forgetting - Jenkins and Dallenbach (1924) - students remembered more when they learned at night then went to sleep - students forgot more when they learned at morning and went about their day - this was explained in terms of interference; occurs when some information disrupts either encoding or retrieval of other information - Anderson and Neely (1996): How does interference work? - a retrieval cue points to and helps recover a target memory - interference occurs when retrieval cue is associated with other targets The role of intention - learning deliberately; often the case - e.g., rehearsing, or using a mnemonic strategy such as the method of loci (associating a list of things to something highly learned like a route) - we also learn without intention - e.g., language, examples we set for children (Andrew Melsof showed infants adults' interactions with a toy and how infants reacted to toy), priming - learning intentionally allows controlling aspect of the process Controlling duration of rehearsal - can control processing duration when stimuli are stable (don't disappear), encoding is the most important thing to do, there are few other important stimuli in our environment - Rundus (1971) Serial Position Effect study - people rehearsed to be remembered words out loud; counted rehearsals of each word - probability of recall was precisely determined by number of times each word was rehearsed, except for recency portion of curve - shows primacy effect entirely determined by number of rehearsals - Ebbinghaus: lists rehearsed more times were retained better; longer lists had to be rehearsed more so were retained better than short lists Controlling encoding operations - can control information about a stimulus that we generate and store; choose what aspect to focus so can choose type of code we generate and store - e.g., names, shapes, surface textures, categories - cannot always control type of code generated; not all stimuli permit generation of any type of code we want e.g. no name or category; abstract ideas - sometimes, one type of code is better for memory (levels of processing theory) Levels of processing theory - Gus Craik and Robert Lockhart (1972); leaders in this movement - ease of information retrieval depends upon type of code generated at learning - kind of code generated depends on your purpose when you first process info - orienting task: find meaning of words? sound of word? spelling of word? - semantic information is deeper processing; spelling is shallow processing; sound is in the middle - deeper the processing, the better the recall; leads to better memory - if recall had another condition i.e. rhymes, shallow processing may lead to better retrieval - it is about a match between ty
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