Oct 18 Attention and Memory.docx
Oct 18 Attention and Memory.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Dan Dolderman

PSY100H © Lis| Page 1011 ATTENTION AND MEMORY  how important is memory?  how do events affect you? memory systems work against you in remembering bad things  emotional distress caused by memory traumatize us  important for studying  your memory is a part of your identity  you're a diff. person without your memories Craik & Lockhart  LTM storage is based on MEANING  We do not file our memories under some sort of code system, like old library card stacks  We store memories based on meaningful associations  when recalling memory, we recreate the events and are misinformed and guided by top down processing biases and affects the way we remember things  The more ways in which you think about the material, the deeper your processing will be and the more easily you will remember the material later  The levels-of-processing principle  Ways to think about the material would include asking questions such as:  Can I think of similar concepts in another subject area?  How do these apply to me?  What experiences do I have that are related to this information? The Level-of-Processing Principle  The levels-of-processing principle states that:  the ease with which we can retrieve a memory depends on the number and types of associations that we form with that memory  Superficial processing – simply repeating the material that you are trying to memorize; or processing only the sound of words  Deeper processing – the processing of meaning rather than simply the physical or sensory features of a stimulus  also notes the associations between the items or parts of the material  Note: deeper levels of processing = greater amounts of neural activity   impoverished encoding, poor retention  elaborate encoding, good retention, remember a lot of associations  in a sense, it is harder during learning phase, but easier because that info integrates, many triggers to access  why is it easier to remember less?  we connect associative network with more and more  relying on fewer memory cues  number of excitatory signals, enhanced communication with repeated activation  connect things with personally relevant things, stories, jokes, play on words PSY100H © Lis| Page 2011 Retrieval Cues Provide Access To Long-Term Storage  Retrieval cues help access information, which is why recognition is easier than recall  The “encoding specificity principle” states:  any stimulus encoded with an experience can become a trigger  E.g., Smith et al., 1978: 80 words: same room = 49; diff = 35  Anything that helps people access information from long-term memory is known as  a retrieval cue  Retrieval cues help us sort through the vast amount of data stored in LTM to identify the right information  The power of retrieval cues explains why it is easier to recognize than to recall information  ex. What is the capital of Vermont? o You probably had to spend a moment or two thinking about this, even if you could retrieve the correct answer o Now consider the question, Is the capital of Vermont, Concord, Montpelier, or Pierre? Most people find it easier now to remember that Montpelier is Vermont‟s capital  Seeing the word helps you to retrieve specific information that allows you to answer the question ENCODING SPECIFICITY  Almost anything (encoded along with your memory) can be a retrieval cue, from the smell of turkey, to a favorite song from high school, to walking into a familiar building  Encountering these sorts of stimuli often triggers unintended memories  whatever is happening around you at the time you are forming a memory becomes part of your memory because your brain is processing everything around you  when you go back to your hometown, memories are triggered by the places  According to psychologist Endel Tulving‟s encoding specificity principle  any stimulus that is encoded along with an experience can later trigger the memory of the experience  In an interesting study with provocative findings, Steven Smith and his colleagues had students study 80 words in one of two different rooms  The rooms differed in a number of ways, including size, location, and scent in the room  The students were then tested for recall either in the room in which they studied or the other room  When the study and test sessions were held in the same room, students recalled about 49 words correctly  However, when tested in the room in which they did not study, students recalled only 35 words correctly (Smith, Glenberg, & Bjork, 1978)  Such enhancement of memory when the recall situation is similar to the encoding situation is known as context-dependent memory CONTEXT-DEPENDENT MEMORY  Context-dependent memory the manner in which you study can affect your memory for information  Can be based on such things as odors, background music, and physical location (all retrieval cues) PSY100H © Lis| Page 3011  The most dramatic demonstration showed that scuba divers who learned information underwater later tested better underwater than on land (Godden & Baddeley, 1975; see Figure 7.9) STATE-DEPENDENT MEMORY  Just as physical context can affect memory, so can internal cues, such as mood states or even inebriation (intoxication)  State-dependent memory: enhancement of memory when there is a match between internal states during encoding and recall is known as  Some of the research on this topic was inspired by the observation that alcoholics often misplaced important objects, such as paychecks, because they stored them in a safe place while they were drinking but could not remember where once they were sober  The next time they were drinking, however, they were able to remember where they had hidden the object  The psychological scientist Eric Eich and colleagues (1975) conducted a study of state- dependent memory using marijuana  Participants studied a test list either sober or high  Memory was best when participants were tested in the same state in which they had studied  Note, however, that students recalled the information best when they were sober on both occasions  In a study that used alcohol, the worst performance was for students who studied when intoxicated and took the test sober  They did worse than students who studied sober and took the test intoxicated  Students who studied intoxicated and took the test intoxicated did much worse than students who were sober at both study and test (Goodwin, Powell, Bremer, Hoine, & Stern, 1969)  State-dependent memory works because internal state is an additional retrieval cue that can facilitate the recovery of information from long-term memory  thus, memory is based on association  metaphor for memory organization  brain is organized in a way relevant info comes better to your mind Priming Effects  Priming effects happen because we organize our memories in these networks of associations  Helps us organize our thinking, optimizes the efficiency with which we can retrieve information, and therefore, enables the smooth, adaptive functioning of our brains  But as you know, this means that we are inherently biased processors, with our memories, perceptions, etc., being guided by those “nodes” that have recently been activated in our knowledge nets  "modal" model of memory  memory transferred to short term to long term  sensory need the most attention  short term needs quite a bit of attention  while rehearsing this memory, you will retain this, but in reality, we don‟t, so most info gets lost  long term doesn't require attention at all until it gets triggered PSY100H © Lis| Page 4011 Attention And Memory  Attention is the process that moves information from the sensory store to short-term memory  Spotlight of Attention  attention highlights the thing you are going to focus on  our peripheral memory gets lost most of the time  sensory memory system is tracking everything happening around you  you are picking up things you are not aware of  sensory memory: a memory system that momentarily preserves extremely accurate images of sensory info  info that is not quickly passed to short-term memory is gone forever  you get a visceral sense of what a person‟s personality it  sensory memory is feeding you, in a diffuse way  Sperling memory example  few seconds later, memory fades  sensory memory is brief  iconic memory was demonstrated in Sperling‟s classic experiment  echoic memory lasts about two seconds “…sure i was listening, u said xxx”  iconic and echoic memory systems may allow us to experience the world as a continuous stream Inattentional Blindness  what we don‟t shine the spotlight of attention on, we literally do not see, and do not store in memory Short-Term Memory  A limited capacity memory system involved in the retention of information for brief periods  It is also used to hold information retrieved from long-term memory for temporary use (20 - 30 seconds)  attention may be balanced on something else, and the memory will be lost, thus, it is only temporary  7+/-2  STM is like a workbench with approx 7 items on it  when a new item is put on the bench, another one falls off  The capacity of STM is 7(+/-2) UNITS, regardless of size  So a single letter, a word, or a cliché can all count as „units‟ in STM  We overcome the limits of short-term memory through chunking; where we hold more information in single units of meaning  chunking  chunk meaningful of info which may be composed of smaller units  more patterns and connection, more efficiently process  conscious attention can only do so much  short-term  but we can increase the density of the sev
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