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PSYB57H3 Final: B57 Final Notes

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Dwayne Pare

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B57 Final Notes Chapter 7 Reading Notes Main Points: Paivio postulated the dualcoding theory, which argues that images can be represented by both verbal and nonverbal systems. Logogens are the units that are part of the first system, and imagens comprise the latter. Furthermore, Paivio maintained that words that produce a mental image have concreteness. In one of his experiments a high correlation was found between ratings of high concreteness and high imagery. He was also in favour of the theory that the right hemisphere controls imagery and that the left hemisphere is responsible for verbal representation, although this view was later challenged by fMRI studies that used lexical decision tasks for words of varying concreteness. Imagery has also been used as a mnemonic technique, by employing the method of loci (using bizarre images of objects placed in familiar places), for instance. Distinctiveness has been strongly related to imagery. It has long been found that the most bizarre or distinctive items in a set of common items are better remembered (von Restorff effect). This phenomenon also applies to humour, with more humorous material recalled more easily. Furthermore, people can use the special places strategy; however, since it relies solely on distinctiveness, it is a less reliable aid to memory. A peculiar aspect of psychology is when a stimulus appropriate to one sense (e.g., a sound) triggers an experience appropriate to another sense (e.g., a colour). This is referred to as synesthesia, a condition that affects as many as one in 200 people. The most common form of synesthesia is coloured hearing (chromesthesia). The cue that brings on such experiences is called an inducer and the response to it is named the concurrent. Synesthetic experiences improve memory for certain stimuli. A modern neurobiological explanation of such phenomena is that what starts out as transient connections in the brain become permanent when a process called apoptosis (neuronal pruning) fails to eliminate improper connections. Considering that even thinking about concepts can lead to synesthetic experiences, people who experience chromesthesia are deemed strong synesthetes. However, even if individuals are not strong synesthetes, they might still show similar crossmodal effects. In fact, most people are weak synesthetes. An icon is a snapshot of the information contained in a visual stimulus. Similar to iconic imagery, eidetic imagery also persists after the removal of the stimulus, however it stays longer than an icon does. Both eidetic imagery and synesthesia are examples of cognitive dedifferentiations, which simply means that processes for typically independent processes are fused. Although it is possible that everyone may possess eidetic imagery to a certain extent, people view ordinary visual memory images differently in their
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