Ch 7&8: memory and thinking
Ch 10: emotion
Ch 13&14: disorders and treatments
Ch 15: social psychology
Ch 7&8: memory and thinking
Ch 7: Memory
Memory: the capacity of the NS to acquire and retain useable skills and knowledge. Are often
incomplete, biased and distorted. A story that can be altered through retellings.
What are the basic stages of memory?
Modal memory model:
Sensory memory is brief
Temporary sensory buffer. Allows us to experience memory as a stream
Visual: iconic memory, auditory: echoic memory. Approx 1/3 second
Short term memory is active
A limited capacity memory system that holds information is awareness for brief periods
of time. Aka immediate memory.
Approx 20 seconds unless you prevent it.
Memory span: STM generally limited to 7 items, plus or minus two
Meaningful units easier to remember.
Organizing information into meaningful units: chunking
The ability to chuck efficiently relies on our LTM
STM as Working memory
o STM not a single storage system but rather an active processing unit that deals
with multiple types of information such as sounds, images and ideas.
o WM: an active processing system that keeps information available.
Encodes information from the sensory systems and then filters
imp info to LTM. Also retrieves info from LTM as needed.
Relies on 2 subcomponents that temporally hold auditory of
Encoded auditory info and is active whenever you read, speak or
Visio spatial sketchpad.
Processes visual info such as objects features and location
Long term memory is relatively permanent
The relatively permanent storage of info
Differs from STM in 2 imp ways: duration and capacity
Evidence that STM and LTM are different systems:
o Individual LOA
Serial position effect: you dont tend to remember words in the middle
of the list
1 a.) primacy effect
o they rehearse the first items the most: so in LTM
b.) recency effect
o Biological LOA
Case studies like HM: LTM still intact but unable to convert STM into
So they can be disconnected but theyre highly interdependent.
What gets into LTM
Distributive over massed practice
o Meaningful information
What are the different memory systems?
Modal memory system challenged: memory isnt a monolithic entity but rather a process that
involves a number of interacting systems that all encode information in different ways.
Explicit memory involves conscious effort
The processes involved when people remember specific info
o Info retrieved in explicit memory is declarative memory. The content of memory
Episodic memory: ones personal past experiences
Semantic memory: ones knowledge of facts independent of personal
Implicit memory occurs without deliberate effort
: the process by which people show that theyre remembering something w/o effort or awareness
a.) procedural memory (motor memory): motor skills and behavioral habits
o influences our lives in many ways
Attitudes formed through implicit learning
false fame effect
b.) repetition priming: the improvement in identifying or processing a stimulus that has
previously been experienced.
How is Information organized in long-term memory? (LTM)
Its a temporal sequence
encoding: big + furry = dog
retrieval: implicit and explicit
Its based on meaning
the more deeply an item is encoded the more meaning it has and the better its
o encoding the information in more meaningful ways.
Schemas provide an organizational framework
hypothetical cognitive structures that help us perceive, organize, process and learn
2 Sort incoming info and guide attn to the relevant features of the environment.
Existing schemas help us make sense of the world, but can also lead to biased encoding
Schemas influence which information is stored in memory.
Association networks store information
Memory organization is based on associative networks
The closer the nodes, the stronger the association, the increased likelihood that the
closely associated node will be activated
based on info that hierarchically organized. Can find needed info quickly
Retrieval cues provide access to LTM storage
anything that helps people access information: retrieval cue.
o Any stimulus thats encoded along with an experience can later trigger the
memory of the experience.
o Context-dependent memory: sensory info and physical location. (scuba divers)
State dependent memory
o Match btw internal states during encoding and recall (profs cheque)
What brain processes are involved in memory?
There has been intensive effort to identify the physical location of memory
Equipotentiality: (Lashley) Distributed throughout the brain rather than in one place?
o Yes, but really no
Memories stored in multiple regions but linked together through memory circuits
o Hebbian learning.
o A lot of neural specialization occurs with different brain regions responsible for
different storing aspects of info
Ie HM: temporal lobes imp for storing new info
The medial temporal lobes are important for consolidation of declarative memories
Has a number of structures imp for memory incl the amygdala, the hippocampus and the
Consolidation: a hypothetical process involving the transfer of contents from immediate
memory to LTM.
o results form changes in the strength of neural connections that support memory
o the temporal lobes responsible for this strengthening, but the actual storage most
likely occurs particular brain region engaged during perception.
Reconsolidation: once activated the memories need to be consolidated again
o Explains why our memories for events can change over time.
Localizing function w/i medial temporal lobes
o Mishkins animal model of memory
Animal needs to learn the rule, and remember with side the food was in
hippocampus and surrounding rhinal cortex: essential for declarative
o morris water maze test
hippocampal place cells. Hippocampus imp for spatial memory
The frontal lobes are involved in many aspects of memory
extensive neural network with other brain regions to coordinate encoding, storage and
Frontal lobes crucial for encoding.
Hemispheric asymmetries in encoding and retrieval
o Some evidence that encoding (left) and retrieval (right) occur in different
o Hemispherical encoding retrieval system: HERA
Frontal lobes and working memory
o Become active when info is being either retrieved from LTM into working mem
or encoded from working mem into LTM
Neurochemistry influences memory
Memory involves alterations in connection across synapses. As memories are
consolidated, distributed networks of neurons become linked together.
o Collectively these neurotransmitters are known as memory modulators.
Neurochemistry indicated meaningfulness of stimuli
o Memory modulation: evolution: determining whats important
o Important events lead to neurochemical changes that produce emotional
Epinephrine (adreneline) and glucose indicate that an experience is
More recently: epinephrine enhances mem b/c of its effects on
norepinephrine activity in the amygdala
The amygdala and the neurochemistry of emotion
o Controls the modulating effects of nts on memory. It is the limbic structure
closely tied to fear reactions and is located in the medial temporal lobe.
o Stimulated in emotional memory
o PSTD: exposure to stimuli associated with past trauma activates the amygdala
When do people forget?
the seven sins of memory
o transience, absentmindedness, blocking,
o misattribution, suggestibility, bias,