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Lecture 2

PSYCH 140M Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Psychoacoustics, Sensory Memory, Memory Span

Course Code
John Hagedorn

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Psych 140 M
Human Memory
Professor Hagedorn
Course Code: 68500
4 Unit Course
Fall 2019
Notes: Lecture
Duration of Visual Sensory Memory
Sperling (1963) - delayed the presentation of the indicator tone, hypothesis: the
longer the delay before indicator tone, the more visual sensory memory decays,
and the poorer the subject will perform
performance declined as the length of the delay of the indicator tone
Sperling’s Experiments
Investigated nature of sensory memory, flashed array of letters for 1/20 second
Subjects could only report 4 or 5 of the letters
Each subject’s immediate memory span was basically constant, no matter how
many letters in stimulus
Didn’t matter how long stimulus was shown
do they actually store the entire array briefly, even though they could
only report 4 or 5 of the letters?
Sperling argued that we do store the entire image briefly, though it fades very
quickly, preventing subjects from demonstrating this memory
To test his theory, he needed to come up with a way to demonstrate that subjects
do see the entire array, but without asking them to Report the entire array
Brightness Masking Effects
Sperling (1963) -varied brightness of pre-field and post-field (bright/dark)
,investigated brightness masking effects, how does brightness of stimulus
presented just before and after the array of letters affect the duration of the visual
sensory memory store?
Brightness of pre-field and post-field affected how rapidly
performance declined
When pre-field and post-field are bright, performance declined very
rapidly by a half-second delay, performance was no better than with
whole-report method
When pre-field and post-field are dark, performance declined more
slowly it took 4 or 5 seconds to reach performance level found with
whole-report method.
Pattern Masking Effects
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