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Psychology - Memory.docx

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York University
PSYC 2510
Richard N Lalonde

November 14, 2012 Psychology – Lecture #10 Memory What is memory?  Capacity to store, retain, & retrieve information  Stored pattern of connections between neurons in the brain Case studies in memory  HM (Henry Molaison) o Brenda Milner o Distinction between explicit and implicit memory  Case of HM links memory to hippocampus o Loss of parts of hippocampus the result of surgery for epilepsy o Brenda Milner studied HM in Hartford o Loss of declarative memory, but not motor memory Clive Wearing – absence of ability to form new memories (anterograde amnesia) or to recall old memories (retrograde amnesia)  Herpes simplex encephalitis destroyed hippocampus  Can still play piano AJ – Hyperthymestic syndrome (hyper + thymestic)  Near perfect recall of events related to her life (autobiographical memory) or events of interest to her  Difficulty with rote memorization  Case study – Jill Price Video: Jill Price – the woman who cannot forget  Her brain can live her life day by day, including watching tv shows  She lived two lives – past and present  As a result, she cannot get over things and move on – she relives the past and still feels bad about things that happened 30 years ago  “Is it possible our happiness and survival come from what we choose to edit, to forget?” o A lot of ourselves is shaped by our memories and what we choose to forget o Human beings forget bad things, or allow unpleasant emotions to be dulled but Jill cannot do this  Part of her brain is larger than user o Area associated with OCD o Could Jill’s brain be hoarding memories like people with OCD hoard things? o Tendency to collect for objects and memories  Prescription drugs do not work for Jill o Only her late husband, James Price, allowed her to put away her baggage of memories and live in the moment  Jill can help unlock the secrets of Alzheimer’s, of genius and the way all of us remember o Could profoundly influence how we think the brain stores memories Human memory is a dynamic process – memories change over time and are rough reconstructions rather than exact copies of past events. Encoding: Getting Info into Memory  Attention – focusing awareness  Selective attention = selection of input o Negative effects of divided attention (memory, driving performance…) o Change blindness Studying Attention  Dichotic listening: listen to 1 of 2 different messages that are presented simultaneously to each ear  Shadowing procedure: repeating verbal material as soon as it is heard (attended ear)  Shadowing requires most of our attention and unattended message is turned off (eg. may not notice shift to a different language)  Can information in unattended ear still have an influence even if not conscious of that info? Example study – McKay (1973)  Attended ear: They threw stones toward the bank yesterday.  Unattended ear: I.V. river OR money  D.V: Which sentences did you hear? They threw stones toward the side of the river yesterday. They threw stones toward the savings and loan association yesterday.  Subjects do not recall words presented in unattended ear  Unattended words primed the meaning of info. presented in attended ear (prepared)  Interpretation: Stimuli that we are not paying attention to may still be within a limited range of non-conscious awareness.  Practical implications? o Selective attention & the cocktail-party phenomenon o Subliminal messages do not affect effortful behaviour Levels of Processing: Lockhart & Craig  Incoming information processed at different levels  Deeper processing = longer lasting memory  Encoding levels: o Structural = shallow o Phonemic = intermediate o Semantic = deep Storage: Maintaining Information in Memory Three-Box Model of Memory  Sensory memory: fleeting impressions  Short-term memory: scratch pad  Long-term memory: final destination Sensory Memory  Sensory input held briefly in separate registers for each sense (visual ~ ¼ sec)  Waiting for attention  Information that is not passed to STM is gone STM – Memory demonstration Short-term memory  Limited capacity system involved in retention of information (~ 20 seconds)  Also holds information retrieved from LTM long-term for temporary use (ie. Part of working memory)  7 + 2 chunks of information o XIBMCIAFBICTVNDP  Chunking o Using meaningful units of information Baddeley’s model of working memory (STM)  Central executive – system controlling cognitive processes (attention, coordination…) o Auditory, Visual/Spatial, Story (eg. chronology) Baddeley Model Types of long-term memories  Semantic (general knowledge – eg. facts, rules, concepts)  Procedural memories (performance of actions/skills – knowing how)  Episodic memories o Personally experienced events (in context o Flashbulb memories – long lasting vivid memories associated with intense emotion
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