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Chapter on Memory.docx

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University of Washington

Memory Types  There are many difference “kinds” of memory that differ in the following ways: o Duration o Capacity o Code o Neural mechanism o Conscious experience Memory Processes  Encoding o process in which it gets into your mind  Storage o Maintaining information  Retrieval o Getting it back out Models of Memory  Sensory Memory (low level copy of the information)  Short Term (contents of conscious awareness)/Working Memory  Long Term Memory (can retrieve after a few seconds, few hours, few days, few years later) Sensory Memory  Sperling’s Cued Recall (1960) o Inference that you have all the information there, the trick is that because sensory memory is so short.. the image fades from your mind  The longer the delay, the greater the memory loss  Neural Mechanism  Sustained activation of neurons involved in sensation  Can NOT be modulated by top-down processing (is automatic) Sensory Memory  Iconic (Visual) o Duration= .15-0.5 seconds o Capacity=? o Code= visual o Conscious experience= still hearing  Echoic (Auditory) o Takes longer… duration= 3-4 seconds o Capacity=? o Code= auditory o Neural mechanism- sustained activation o Conscious experience= still hearing Models of Memory  Sensory Memory  Short Term/Working Memory o Billions of neurons working o When does it become overwhelming? o Can only think about a certain amount of things at one time Definition of Short Term Memory  Contents of consciousness, awareness  Information that you can access for further processing (i.e. information you have retrieved from long term memory store) Duration of Short Term Memory  P & P measured the duration of working memory by manipulating rehearsal  Within 3 seconds, number of constants you can remember is drastically lower. By 18 seconds it is at 0 Capacity  George Miller came up with the magical number 5 (+ or – 2)  “Chunking” makes chunks out of items to remember  probably more like 3-4 chunks  can train people to become good at chunking o After 230 hours of practice, one individual increased his span from 7 to 79 digits Code (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974)  Phonological loop o Subvocalize words  Visuo-spatial sketchpad o i.e. doing math problem in head (carrying numbers, etc) Short Term Memory VS Working Memory  Both- contents of your conscious awareness  Both- “bottlenecks” of memory  Short term memory- passive buffering  Working memory- information that is being manipulated  Used to reason or make a decision, etc. o Working memory: 3 to 3.5 Characteristics of STM/WM  Duration: about 3-20 seconds  Capacity: about 3-4 “chunks” o Numbers: 5 (+ or – 2)  Code: mostly verbal or visual  Neural mechanism: frontal lobes?  Conscious experience: contents of awareness/inner voice/chalkboard  By repeating things over and over in our head we are playing back our mental tapes, we re-activate them which makes memory trace  Attention grabbing things will modulate what goes in conscious awareness  Some things are more salient/interesting/familiar to you//they will be easier to remember despite how many times you have heard it  The more you rehearse something, the more you recall it Memory Summary  “Memory”
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