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Psychology 1000

Memory: refers to the processes that allow us to record and later retrieve experiences and information MEMORY AND INFORMATION PROCESSING -during the cognitive revolution, it was thought of the mind, as a processing system that encodes, stores, and retrieves information Encoding: refers to getting information into the system by translating it into a neural code that the brain processes Storage: involves retaining information over time Retrieval: a way to pull information out of storage when we need to use it *we routinely forget and distort information, and may “remember” events that never actually occurred A THREE-COMPONENT MODEL: Memory has three major components: -all three components may involve interrelated neural sites, and memory research use these terms in more abstract sense 1) Sensory Memory: Sensory memory: holds incoming sensory information just long enough for it to be recognized Sensory registers: the different subsystems which are the initial information processors Iconic store: the visual sensory register How long does it store memory? Experiment: flashed 12 letters for 1/20 of a second and participants were asked what was on the list Results: they were able to recall only three to five letters Did they process the whole array? Experiment: just as the letters were flashed off, participants heard a different pitched sound; each pitch signaled them to report the top, middle, or bottom row of letters Results: if the tone occurred immediately, participants were often able to report all 4 letters Why? Because they did not know which tone they were going to hear ahead of time, their ionic memory stored an image of the whole array and they now had time to “read” their ionic image of the line they had to Echoic store: the auditory sensory register -echoic memory lasts longer than iconic memory 2) Short-Term/ Working Memory: -holds the information that we are conscious of at any time -although most information in sensory memory fades away, a small portion enters short-term memory through a selective process -also called working memory because it consciously processes, codes, and “works on” information Mental representations: -memory codes; a way to represent the information by some type of code so it can be retained in short-term memory and eventually transfer to long-term memory Ex) mental images, code for something by sounds, focus on the meaning, or patterns of movement -the note for memory code often does not correspond to the form of an original stimulus Ex) when reading (visual) we don’t store images of the way the words look; we form phonological code (saying these words silently) -the most errors that people make are phonetic Capacity and Duration: -both are limitations for short term memory Capacity: -short-term memory can only hold a limited amount of information at one time -people can hold no more than 7 +/- 2 (between 5 to 9 meaningful items) -Chunking: combing individual items into larger units of meaning; can greatly aid recall Duration: -without rehearsal, the “shelf life” of information in short-term memory may last about 20 seconds -by rehearsing information, we can extend the duration in short-term memory Maintenance rehearsal: the simple repetition of information Elaborative rehearsal: involves focusing on the meaning of information or relating it to things that we already know -elaborative rehearsal is more effective than maintenance rehearsal in transferring information into long term memory Putting Short-term memory to work: -Original three-stage model: items that remain on the short term loading dock long enough eventually get transferred into long term memory Working Memory: a mental workspace that actively and simultaneously processes different types of information and supports other cognitive functions such as problem solving and planning Ex) when adding, the working memory stores the numbers, calls up long-term memory on “how to add”, keeps track of intermediate steps, and coordinates these mental processes One model divides working memory into three components: 1) Auditory working memory: repeating something out loud 2) visual-spatial working memory: forming “mental maps” to temporarily store and manipulate images and spatial information 3) Central executive: directs the action; decides how much attention to allocate -the prefrontal cortex is where the “executive functions” occur 3) Long-Term Memory -our vast library of durable stored memories -long-term storage capacity is unlimited and a long-term memory could last a lifetime Experiment: present people with a list of unrelated words and you must recall them Results: words at the beginning of the list and end of the list are easiest to recall Why? Serial-position effect: recall is influenced by the word’s position in a series of items Serial position has two components: 1) Primacy: -reflecting the superior recall of earlier words -caused because the first few words have enough time to be transferred to long-term memory -beyond the first few words, there is no time to rehearse them, therefore they wont be transferred -if we prevent people from rehearsing words, the primacy effect would disappear 2) Recency: -the last few words have the benefit of not being “bumped out” of the short-term memory -when the recall test is delayed and you are prevented from rehearsing, the Recency effect disappears because the last few words have faded away from short term memory or have been “bumped out” by new information ENCODING: ENTERING INFORMATION -the more effectively we encode material into long-term memory, the greater the likelihood of retrieving it EFFORTFUL AND AUTOMATIC PROCESSING: Effortful processing: encoding that is initiated intentionally and requires conscious attention Automatic processing: encoding that occurs without intention and requires minimal attention  Information about spatial location, frequency, and timing are often encoded automatically LEVELS OF PROCESSING: -Levels of processing: the more deeply we process information, the better it will be remembered (the meaning of a word is the deepest processing) Structural encoding: noticing how a word looks (little effort) Phonological encoding: sounding out the word and judging whether it matches the sound of something else Semantic encoding: paying attention to what the word means (most effort) EXPOSURE AND REHEARSAL: -to learn factual and conceptual information present in most academic and job setting, we need to employ effortful, deep processing Maintenance rehearsal: (Simple repetition) -most useful for keeping information active in short-term/working memory -inefficient for bringing about long-term transfer Elaborative rehearsal: (Focusing on the meaning of information) Ex) organizing information, thinking about how it applies to our own lives, relating it to concepts -involves deeper processing -more effective in transferring information into long-term memory ORGANIZATION AND IMAGERY: -an organizational scheme can enhance the meaningfulness of information and also serve as a cue that helps trigger our memory for the information it presents Hierarchies and Chunking: Hierarchy: -takes advantage of the principle that memory is enhanced with associations between concepts -participants presented with words with meaningful hierarchy remember more than three times as many words -has a visual organization -enhances the understanding of how these diverse elements are related, and as we proceed from top to bottom, each category can serve as a cue that triggers our memory for the associated items below it Chunking: -combining individual elements into a larger unit of meaning; widens the short-term memory capacity limitation for information to be processed -ex) used when trying to remember phone numbers Mnemonic Devices: -a type of memory aid (hierarchies and chunking are just two examples) -they do not reduce the amount of raw information you have to encode in your memory; just reorganize them -Acronyms are one of the most common mnemonic techniques Visual Imagery: -information is stored in long-term memory in two forms: (1) Verbal (2) non-verbal (typically visual) Dual-coding theory: -encoding information using both codes enhances memory, because the odds improve that at least one of the codes will be available later to support recall -harder to use with some types of stimuli than others (ex abstract concepts are easier to encode semantically than visually) Method of Loci: an imagery technique where you imagine a physical environment with distinct landmarks and link each place with an item or concept HOW PRIOR KNOWLEDGE SHAPES ENCODING: -long term memory is densely populated with semantic codes that represent the meaning of information Schemas: -a “mental framework”; and organized pattern of thought about some aspect of the world -form schemas through experience -strongly influence the way we encode material in our memory -Schemas create a perceptual set, which is a readiness to perceive-to organize and interpret- information in a certain way (ex. how we perceive a stimulus shapes the way we mentally represent it in our memory) Schemas and Expert Knowledge: -acquiring expert knowledge can be viewed as a process of developing schemas Experiment: have an expert, intermediate, and beginner chess player look at an arranged chess board and try to remake it on an empty one Results: when the chess pieces were arranged in meaningful positions the expert was able to do the task much more quickly; when the chess pieces were in random positions there was no difference in the recall between the three players Why? -when the chess pieces were arranged in a meaningful position, the expert was able to apply well-developed schemas to reorganize patterns and group pieces together STORAGE: RETAINING INFORMATION -After information is encoded, how is it organized and store in long-term memory? MEMORY AS A NETWORK: Associative Networks: -a massive network of associated ideas and concepts -a node represents each concept or unit of information -a line represents associations between concepts; shorter lines indicate stronger associations -items within the same category (ex. colours) generally have the strongest associations and are therefore clustered close together -spreading activation: when one node is triggered, than the activation of remembering all the other concepts is activated as well -priming: refers to the activation of one concept by another Neural Networks: -each concept is represented by a particular pattern of nodes that becomes activated simultaneously -the nodes are physical in nature and do not contain individual units of information -as a multitude of nodes distribute throughout the brain fire in parallel at each instant and spread their activation to other nodes; concepts and information are retrieved and thoughts arise -also called parallel distributed processing models TYPES OF LONG TERM MEMORY: -we posses several long-term memory systems that interact with one another Declarative and Procedural Memory: Declarative memory: -involves factual knowledge; to demonstrate this knowledge we have to “declare it” It includes two subcategories: Episodic memory: our store of factual knowledge concerning personal experiences Semantic memory: represents general factual knowledge about the world and language, including memory for word and concepts Procedural Memory: -memories are reflected in skills and actions (not verbalized) -skills are expressed by “doing things” in particular situations -classical conditioned responses are an example Explicit and Implicit Memory: Explicit Memory: -involves conscious or intentional memory retrieval, as when you consciously recognize or recall something Recognition: requires us to decide whether a stimulus is familiar (easier to do) -the target stimuli are provided for you Recall: involves spontaneous memory retrieval -you must retrieve the target stimuli or information on your own -cued recall: are hints that are given to stimulate memory Implicit Memory: -occurs when memory influences our behaviour without conscious awareness Ex) riding a bicycle, driving -Priming tasks: an experiment where you provide a list of words, and then years later you give the first letter of a group of words and see if the first word that came to mind was the words on the original list -the word stems activated or “primed” you mental representations of these words RETRIEVAL: ACCESSING INFORMATION Retrieval cue: any stimulus, whether internal or external, that stimulates the activation of information store in long term memory THE VALUE OF MULTIPLE AND SELF-GENERATED CUES Experiment: participants were presented with a list of 500 words; one group was asked to write down 1 associated for each word, and another was asked to write down 3 Results: Later, when they were shown their associations as a cue to the original word, the group that had 3 cues has more correct answers; as a control, it was less likely that people were able to guess the word when looking at a different person’s cue Why? -having multiple, self-generated cues, is the most
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