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Chapter 5 Part 2 - The Acquisition of Memories and the Working-Memory System .docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Carolyn Ensley

Class 4, Lecutre 7, Chapter 5 - The Acquisition of Memories and the Working-Memory System Working Memory  One way to frame learning and memory: o Acquisition the encoding of memory o Storage o Retrieval  Analogy to creating, storing, and opening a computer file  This view is problematic for at least two reasons: o New learning is grounded in previously learned (stored) knowledge  Acquisition isn‟t independent of store, it is associated with storage and dependent upon such.  What you have learned before effects where and how you learn things later o Effective learning depends on how the information will be later retrieved  How you acquire new information interacts a little with retrieval The Modal Model  Information processing o A perspective in cognitive psychology in which complex mental events involve a number of discrete components o These components receive input from, and sent input to, one another o The modal model:   The modal model (Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968; Waugh & Norman, 1965) makes a distinction between two kinds of memory: o Short-term memory (STM) – the cognitive resource holds the information currently in use o Long-term memory (LTM) – all of the information one can remember o We use things from long term memory while also using information from short term memory at the same time o The act of having to bring things back into short term memory, are better at their long term memory, this is why rehersal of information and practice exams aid in success on tests.  Working memory (WM) – a more recent term for short-term memory, emphasizing its function o What ever is in your working memory, is the stuff that you are manipulating and using. o You are able to have things in your working memory for a long time as long as you attend to it and continue to rehearse it.  Experiments supporting the modal model: o Participants hear a long series of words (e.g., 30) o The position of an item in the presentation list is its serial position o Task is to repeat back as many words as they can in any order; free-recall procedure  Primacy effect o With free recall, participants are likely to remember the first few items in the list  support for the idea hat rehearsal helps get things into long term memory o Based in long-term memory o During list presentation, the first few items receive the most memory rehearsal and are transferred from WM to LTM o o The words that were first repeated were rehearsed which allowed things to get into long term memory  Recency effect o With free recall, participants are likely to remember the last few items in the list o Based in working memory o At the end of list presentation, the last few items are currently in working memory and are often the first items to be reported o 30 seconds of filled delay displaces the last few items from working memory, like speech or music, something irritating  This eliminates the recency effect  30 seconds of unfilled delay does not change the recency effect o Slowing down the presentation of the list allows for more rehearsal of all items  highlights that rehearsal is better for long term memory than working memory  This improves all parts of the curve that reflect LTM, i.e., all items except for the last few  There is no increased or higher performance for these working memory  Neuroimaging data o Memory for the items at the beginning of the list (but not the end) is associated with activity in the hippocampus (always thought to be important for long term memory). o Working memory seems to be taking place a different part of the brain then long term memory  Working Memory o Virtually all mental activities require working memory (WM)  Reading  Goal-driven behavior o Some tasks demand more WM resources than others o Individual differences in WM capacity predict some cognitive abilities  you are limited to how much you can hold in your memory  Attention and WM seem to draw on similar resources  People who have a greater working memory seem to better at problem- solving o Digit-span task  The original method used to determine an individual‟s working memory capacity  Participant hears a series of digits and repeats them back  The longest list length that can be reliably repeated back by the participant is his or her digit span  Working memory capacity is typically 7 plus-or-minus 2 (Miller, 1956) o Chunking refers to a repackaging of the information held in working memory  A series of letters HOPTRASLU can be chunked as the syllables HOP, TRA, SLU  Working memory can hold 7 +/- 2 chunks of information  Effort and attentional resources are required to repackage the input  Does not increase the size of working memory itself o There are some testing effects that may affect digit/memory span  The “True” span may be exaggerated or impaired by a number of factors  it is possible that the digit span may seem bigger or small  Factors can tell us a bit about how we maintain material too.  Things that affect span  Characteristics of the material that is used:  Closely related material remembered better  Concrete words like „table‟ remembered better than abstract words like „ability‟ o There are even differences in our ability to remember words o Things that you can see or touch are more easily recalled than those that are abstract  Rhythm of the presentation of the material  The effect of rhythm is to group the units in the series  May result in a person being assessed with a span that is higher than his “true” one  Rate of presentation of the stimuli:  Too fast  worse span, too slow  worse span  Modality of presentation:  Increase in memory span for lists presented auditorally over ones presented visually  hold on
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