PSYC 3265 Lecture 1: Memory _ Lecture 1 Notes.docx
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Lecture 1 (background) PSYC3265
Ebinghaus – test memory with nonsense syllables. A fixed presentation of words in a list
and studied in serial order until recall without error was achieved (method of complete
Concerned with rate of forgetting as a function of time. If he made errors, he studied
until he could recite list perfectly.
DV = savings score (i.e. initial took 1500 seconds to learn words, then took 600 to
relearn. Hence, 900/1500 = 60% in savings)
Forgetting curve is negatively accelerated curve.
Aristotle – laws of association (similarity, contrast, contiguity – events close together
are associated with each other)
To improve memory, romans used menomonics. Method of loci, putting items in
locations to remember better.
William James (cognitive tradition)
•Habit memories – walking, writing, signing.
oConcatenation of reflex mechanisms producing complex behavior.
•Primary memory – now called short-term working memory.
•Secondary memory – now called long-term memory.
Similarly was Bergson’s idea that representation of the past has two distinct memories.
Ecological validity concerns: idea that study situations need to be the same as normal
everyday life. Concerned with Ebbinghaus’s tradition testing unimportant problems with
little applicability to real world problems.
Neuropsychological tradition – Gall proposed cortical localization. Cognitive
functions mediated by different parts of the brain.
No real evidence because he studies bumps on the skull. (Phrenology)
Broca (“Tan” patient)
•Lost power to speak, tan the only speech he could make
•Right side paralyzed
•Mouth not paralyzed
•Could understand speech
oImplications: understanding and producing language are mediated by
different regions in the brain
(a) language can be dissociated from other cognitive functions
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