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Chapter 7, 8 and 9 Notes for 3rd Exam.docx

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York University
PSYC 1010
Kendra Thomson

Chapter 7: Human Memory Encoding: forming a memory code Storage: maintaining encoded information over time Retrieval: recovering information from memory stores Encoding: Getting Information into Memory Next-in-line Effect: tendency to forget much of what was said before they took their turn speaking Attention: focusing awareness on a narrowed range of stimuli or events - linked to a filter that screens out most potential stimuli while allowing a few select stimuli to pass through to consciousness awareness - filter found in early (during sensory input) or late (after brain processing)? o evidence for both, therefore filters assumed to be not fixed, but flexible between 2 extremes - people experience large reduction in memory performance when dividing attention between memory encoding and other tasks o as well as task performance when attention divided among several tasks  e.g. driving while conversing on cell phone - information can be acquired through effort, but as well as automatically Levels of Processing - not all attention is equal - levels-of-processing theory: proposes deeper levels of processing result in longer-lasting memory codes o shallow processing (structural encoding): physical structure of stimuli o intermediate processing (phonemic encoding): what a word sounds like o deep processing (semantic encoding): meaning of the verbal input - deeper processing leads to enhanced memory - length of time is not reliable in determining level of processing Enriching Encoding - elaboration: linking a stimulus to other information at the time of encoding - visual imagery: creation of visual images to represent the words to be remembered o concrete images easier to encode than abstract (e.g. ‘juggler’ easier to encode than ‘truth’) o dual code theory: memory is enhanced by forming semantic and visual codes, since either can lead to recall - self-referent encoding: deciding how or whether information is personally relevant o enhances recall by promoting additional elaboration and better organization of information Storage: Maintaining Information in Memory Sensory Memory: preserves information in its original sensory form for a brief time, usually only a fraction of a second - allows sensation of visual patterns (as afterimage, like sparkler), sound or touch to linger - retention of sensory input quickly loss if not acted upon Short-Term Memory (STM): limited-capacity store that can maintain unrehearsed information for up to about 20 seconds - store STM indefinitely through rehearsal: process of repetitively verbalizing or thinking about information o e.g. repeating a phone number you’re about to dial - duration of STM has been found to be shorter with different approaches - without rehearsal, info in short term memory lasts about 20 sec - Peter & Peterson – w/o rehearsal, students could only recall 10% after 15 sec. - loss of information due to decay (time passing) as well as interference from competing material (learning new info similar context) - George Miller pointed out that people can recall only about 7 items in task with unfamiliar material - Nelson Cowan showed that STM might actually be only able to hold ~ 4. - You can increase capacity of STM by combining stimuli into larger, possibly higher- order units called chunks: group of familiar stimuli stored as a single unit - easier to recall chunks when related with information from long- term memory - in order to chunk, you need to recognize the items as familiar - b/c of Alan Baddely considered now as working memory: a limited capacity storage system that temporarily maintains and stores information by providing an interface between perception, memory, and action. (more responsibility): o STM found to be not limited to phonemic encoding 1) phonological rehearsal loop: represented STM in the earlier models a. ex: using recitation to remember a phone number b. baddely believed the phonological loop evolved to facilitate the acquisition of language 2) visuospatial sketchpad: permits people to temporarily hold and manipulate visual images a. ex: when you try to mentally rearrange your bedroom furniture or plan a complicated trip in your mind 3) central executive system: controls deployment of attention (attention, switching the focus of attention, diving attention as needed) a. also coordinates the actions of other modules 4) episodic buffer: temporary, limited-capacity store that allows various components of working memory to integrate information and serves as interface between working memory and long-term memory - the 2 key characteristics that defined STM before (limited capacity & storage duration) are still rpesent in the concept of working memory, but Baddely’s model accounts for evidence that STM handles a greater variety of functions than previously thought - people vary in how well they can juggle info in their working memory while fending off distractions: o Working Memory Capacity (WMC): refers to one’s ability to hold and manipulate info in conscious attention.  Can be temporariy reduced by situational factors like stress  Plays a key role in complex cognitive processes & intelligence, also plays a role in musical ability Long-Term Memory (LTM): unlimited capacity store that can hold information over lengthy periods of time - 1 theory suggests information is permanently stored in LTM o forgetting results from inability to retrieve information o e.g. patients recall long lost memories through electrical stimulation of brain - researcher conducted by Wilder Penfield who shocked patients brain with electrical stimulation- patients then recalled childhood memories - flashbulb memories: unusually vivid and detailed recollections of momentous events (e.g. 9/11, people can recall where they were, etc.) o closer scrutiny shows:  long lost memories show distortions and impossibilities (ex: a closer look showed that the “remarkable memories” by ESB in Panfield’s experiments often included major distortions or factual impossibilities [hallucinations, dreams, etc.])  flashbulb memories become less detailed and complete with time and are often inaccurate (they may be strong and vivid, but they’re not as accurate as previously thought to be) - what makes flashbulb memories special is that people subjectively feel these memories are exceptionally vivid, people have exceptional confidence in their accuracy, and there is more emotional intensity attached to them. - no convincing evidence as of yet that these memories are/are not permanent & that forgetting is a matter of retrieval failure Are Short-Term Memory and Long-Term Memory Really Separate? - sensory memory may be nothing more than perceptual process - separation of STM and LTM based on different encoding o STM : phonemic encoding and forgetting due to decay; LTM: semantic encoding and forgetting due to interference o STM found to have elements of LTM - other view: STM is tiny and changing portion of LTM - radical view: 1 single, unitary memory store Organization of Memory - conceptual hierarchies: multilevel classification system based on common properties of items o clustering: tendency to remember similar or related items in groups - schemas: organized cluster of information about an object or event abstracted from previous experience with the object of event o e.g. recalling things in things in the office that weren’t there, but they’re associated with the office. -people are more likely to remember things that are consistent with their schemas than things that aren’t, and theyre also likely to remember things that violate a schema. o relational schemas: regularities associated with social settings -affect the way you process info about others and yourself, and influence you expectations & beliefs about yourself. - semantic networks: consists of concepts joined by pathways of linking related concepts o ovals represent nodes, shorter lines = closer relationships • semantic networks make it easier to explain why thinking about one word (butter) makes it easier to think about another (bread) o “spreading activation” when thinking about one word naturally makes you think of another related word. - connectionist networks or parallel distributed processing (PDP) models: assume that memories consist of patterns of activation in connectionist networks that resemble neural networks o differs from semantic network because in semantic networks, specific nodes represent specific concepts or pieces of information. In connectionist networks, a piece of knowledge is represented by a particular pattern of activation across an entire network. Thus the info lies in the strengths of the connections. Review of Key Points: • Information processing theories of memory assert that people have 3 kids of memory stores: sensor memory, shirt-term memory, and long-term memory. The sensory store preserves information in its original form, probably for only a fraction for a second. • Short-term memory has a limited capacity storage for approx.. 7 items of info. however, a more recent estimate puts the capacity at 4 items plus or minus one. STM can maintain unrehearsed info for approx. 20 sec. STM is working memory, and it appears to involve more than a simple rehearsal loop. According to Baddeley, working memory also involves a visuospacial sketchpad, an executive control system, and an episodic buffer. • Long-term memory store is an unlimited capacity store that might hold info. indefinitely. Penfield’s ESB research and the existence of flashbulb memories suggest that LTM storage might be permanent, but the evidence isn’t convincing. Flashbulb memories aren’t as accurate as claimed. Some theorists have questioned the distinction b/w short term & long term memory. Retrieval: Getting Information Out of Memory Using Cues to Aid Retrieval - Availability: you might not be able to answer a particular ? b/c the information is unavailable (no longer present in the memory system) or because of accessibility: it’s not accessible (present in the memory system, but not accessible to you at the moment) - tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon: temporary inability to remember something you know, accompanied by the feeling that it’s just out of reach (increases with age) (it’s a failure in retrieval) - people can partially remember what they’re trying to recall - memory can be jogged by retrieval cues – stimuli that help gain access to memories Reinstating the Context of an Event - encoding specificity principle: better memory for information when conditions during encoding and retrieval are similar - context cues often facilitate retrieval of information (putting yourself back in the situation) (ex: visiting your childhood home & being flooded with tons of memories) -context cues have been used in legal investigations to enhance witness recall (same idea as when witness is hypnotized, although no research actually shows hypnosis can enhance retrieval) - According to Fergus Craik, the effect of matching person’s internal mood and state during encoding affect retrieval efforts o e.g. if you were enraged, intoxicated, etc., your recall would be facilitated if you were in a similar state. Reconstructing Memories and the Misinformation Effect - memories are sketchy reconstructions of the past that can be distorted & may include details that didn’t’ actually happen (due to schemas…what people recall about an event is the details of the particular event, and part is a reconstruction of the event based on their schemas) - misinformation effect: recall of an event is changed by misleading post-event information o e.g. witness testimonies in court o culture, recent experiences, personality differences, and familiarity are all factors that affect the labeling of events, and they affect which schemas are used in reconstructing the events. O post event: ex: you watch an accident, and then asked leading questions by the police offices (how fast were the cars going when they hit each other vs. how fast were they going when they smashed into each other? These 2 diff words with mislead your later recollection of the accident) Source Monitoring and Reality Monitoring - source monitoring: process of making attributions about the origins of memories (trying to pinpoint when something occurred, or the source) (ex: did I read that article in my psychology textbook or in the newspaper?) - source-monitoring error: occurs when memory derived from 1 source is misattributed to another source o explains cryptomnesia: inadvertent plagiarism - reality monitoring: process of deciding whether memories are based on external sources (one’s perception of actual events) or internal sources (one’s thought and imagination) (ex: did I pack the umbrella or only think about packing it?) - Destination memory: involves recalling to whom one has told what Forgetting: When Memory Lapses -some memory theorists argue that forgetting may have an adaptive function; imagine how clustered your mind would be if you never forgot anything - Daniel Schacher argues that we need to forget info that’s no longer relevant -forgetting can reduce competition among memories that can cause confusion. So why do we forget info we WANT to remember?... How Quickly We Forget: Ebbinghaus’s Forgetting Curve - Hermann Ebbinghaus conducted forgetting research on himself using nonsense syllables (REQ, MIK) - determined forgetting curve: graphs retention and forgetting over time - concluded most forgetting occurs very rapidly after learning something - Critiques to his findings: important to remember he worked with meaningless material and his curve is very steep. Forgetting isn’t usually that steep, and that could have been caused by the fact that he worked with meaningless material. Measures of Forgetting - retention: refers to proportion of material retained (remembered), kinds: o recall measure: subjects reproduce information on their own without cues o recognition measure: subjects select previously learned information from an arrow of options (e.g. multiple choice questions) (in this type of measure, subjects are not only given cues, they’re also being shown the answers right infront of them)  tendency to be easier than recall measure (difficulty varies depending on the numbers, similarity, and amount of answers given) o relearning measure: subject memorizes information a second time to determine how much time or how many practice trials are saved by having learned it before Why We Forget - pseudoforgetting: forgot something you never really learned (due to lack of attention) o c o u l d a l s o b e due to ineffective encoding o e.g. penny design; most people think they know what a penny looks like, but when given a real penny design & some other fakes, they have a hard time deciding which is real. o e.g. studying textbook while doing something else, you could just be reading it outloud (phonemic encoding, which is inferior to semantic encoding) - decay theory: forgetting occurs because memory traces fade with time (found in sensory input storage, STM storage, but no evidence supporting decay in LTM storage) - interference theory: people forget information because of competition from other material o decreasing similarity of new material should reduce interference with older memories/information o types:  retroactive interference: new information impairs retention of previously learned information  proactive interference: previously learned information interferes with retention of new information - retrieval failure: failure in the process of retrieving - retrieval failures may be more likely when a mismatch occurs b/c retrieval cues & the encoding o the info you’re looking for. Ex: if during encoding you emphasized the meaning of the word, then semantic cues would be best for retrieval. o encoding specificity principle: states value of retrieval cue depends on how well it corresponds to the memory code o transfer-appropriate processing: initial processing of information is similar to the type of processing required by subsequent measure of retention  poor fit between processing done during encoding and the processing invoked by the measure of retention can cause retrieval failures - motivated forgetting, or repression: keeping distressing thoughts and feelings buried in unconscious Repressed Memories Controversy - recent years show surge of reports of recovered memories of previously forgotten sexual abuse in childhood - psychologists and psychiatrists assert sexual abuse in childhood is far more widespread than most people realize - abuse is repressed and sometimes later the individual experiences amnesia for the abuse o evokes coping efforts in parents in an attempt to block awareness of abuse o clinicians who accept the authenticity of recovered memories of abuse attribute the recent upsurge in recovered memories to therapist’s and clients’ increased sensitivity to an issue that people used to be reluctant to discuss. o studies are debatable: women could have lied due to embarrassment, normal forgetfulness, even a preference to not want to think about past painful experiences, etc. - critics blame a minority of therapists for using the power of suggestion to attribute all psychological problems to child abuse, implanting false memories - important to remember that some cases are authentic - experiments show it is easy to create memory illusions (false memories) - many memories of abuse recovered: o under hypnosis: promotes distortions o dream interpretation: subjective - rebuttals: o experiments deal with insignificant memories o implantation of entire multiple scenarios? o sociopolitical repercussions of denying the existence of recovered memories is said to be intended to undermine the credibility of abused women and silence their accusations -those memories recovered through therapy are more likely to be false than those recovered spontaneously. 7 sins of memory by Daniel Schacher: 1. Transience – weakening of memory over time 2. Absentmindedness – memory failure due to failure to pay attention 3. Blocking – temporary problem, when we fail to retrieve an item of info (ex: someone’s name) 4. Misattribution – assigning a memory to the wrong source 5. Suggestibility – when our memory is distorted, by for example, misleading questions. 6. Bias – inaccuracy due to the effect of our current knowledge on our reconstruction of the past 7. Persistence – unwanted memories that you can’t forget (that haunt you) In Search of the Memory Trace: Physiology of Memory The Biochemistry of Memory - one study by Kandel showed memory formation due to alterations in synaptic transmission at specific sites (performed on sea slugs) - according to this view, specific memories depend on biochemical changes that occur at specific synapses - through sea slug he showed that reflec learning in the sea slug produces changes in the strength of specific synaptic connections by enhancing the availability & release of neurotransmitters at these synapses. - durable changes in synaptic transmission may be the neural building block s of more complex memories as well. - hormonal changes can either facilitate or impair memory o theory that hormones modulate activity in amygdala and neurotransmitter systems o other study suggests adequate protein synthesis necessary for memory formation The Neural Circuitry of Memory - may be possible to map out specific neural circuits that correspond to at least some types of specific memories o long-term potentiation (LTP): long-lasting increase in neural excitability at synapses along a specific neural pathway o memory formation may stimulate neural growth (neurogenesis) and emergence of new neural circuits (additional synapses). -animal studies show that manipulations that suppress neurogenesis lead to memory impairments Anatomy of Memory - 2 types of amnesia: 1) retrograde amnesia: loss of memories for events that happened before the onset of amnesia 2)anterograde amnesia: loss of memories for events that happen after the onset of amnesia - case of patient H.M. who got surgery at a young age to stop his seizures, which wiped his ability to form long- term memories. His short term memory remained fine. He could no longer remember anything after the year of his surgery. Said to be maybe the most examined and important patient in neuroscience. - through studying his brain, scientists have been able to attribute the entire hippocampal region and the adjacent areas in the cortex for many types of long- term memory. -Hippocampal area damaged first in Alzheimer’s disease o explains severe memory loss in these patients - many agree hippocampus and adjacent areas plays key role in consolidation: hypothetical process involving gradual conversion of information into durable memory codes stored in LTM o hippocampus does not store memories, memories widely distributed in cortex - theorists who’ve been influenced by parallel distributed processing (PDP) suggest hippocampal area binds individual elements of a specific memory (organizing neural networks) - recent research suggests amygdala seems to be critical to the formation of memories for learned fears - central executive of working memory may be situated in prefrontal cortex Systems and Types of Memory 1) Implicit versus Explicit Memory: - amnesiacs displayed long-term retention but they have no LTM (implicit memory) Implicit memory: apparent when retention is exhibited on a task that does not require intentional remembering (unconscious and unaffected by age, drugs, amnesia, etc.) Explicit memory: requires intentional remembering (conscious) Reason?: 1. different cognitive processes encode and retrieve for either memories 2. either memories handled by independent memory systems 2) Declarative versus Procedural Memory: Declarative memory system: handles factual information Procedural memory system: houses memory for actions, skills, operations, and conditioned responses (some believe it to be connected to implicit memory because it is unconscious) 3) Semantic versus Episodic Memory: - some amnesiacs forget only episodic or only semantic memories Episodic memory system: made up chronological, or temporary dated, recollections of personal experiences (e.g. watching Star Wars) Semantic memory system: contains general knowledge that is not tied to the time when the information was learned (e.g. remembering Christmas is on Dec. 25) 4) Prospective versus Retrospective Memory: - influenced by the type of task: habitual or infrequent - some require cues (time or event-based) Prospective memory: remembering bearing to perform actions in the future Retrospective memory: remembering bearing events from the past or previously learned information Featured Study: The Neuroscience of Time Travel Constructive Episodic Simulation hypothesis: remembering past and simulating hte future should draw on similar kinds of information from episodic memory and utilize similar types of neural processes Results - brain imaging indicated considerable overlap in the brain regions that were active in remembering the past and imagining the future for the construction phase (thinking of an event) and elaboration phase (explaining the event) Personal Application: Improving Everyday Memory Mnemonic devices: methods used to increase the recall of information - overlearning: continued rehearsal of material after apparent mastery - serial-position effect: occurs when subjects show better recall for items at the beginning and end of a list than for items in the middle - more effective recall in divided study rather than mass study - reduce interference by allocating study for specific courses on separate days - depth of processing more important than frequency of studying - organized information is more easily memorized than non-organized - narrative methods: make a story that includes all words in a list in proper order - rhymes: e.g. “I before E except after C” - link method: forming a mental image of items to be remembered as a way that links them together - method of loci: involves taking imaginary walk along a familiar path where images of items to be remembered are associated with certain locations - keyword method : associate a concrete word with an abstract word and generate an image to represent the concrete word Critical Thinking: Understanding the Fallibility of Eyewitness Accounts Inaccuracy - reasons for eyewitness inaccuracies: o reconstruction distorted by schemas o source-monitoring errors (e.g. mixing up someone’s face with someone else) o distortions due to new information Hindsight Bias: tendency to mould our interpretation of the past to fit how events actually turned out Overconfidence: tendency to be overconfident about the reliability of their memory - fuelled by failure to seek disconfirming evidence Chapter 8: Language and Thought ................................................................................................................................. ........... Introduction Cognition: mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge Language: Turning Thoughts into Words Language: consists of symbols that convey meaning plus rules for combining those symbols that can be used to generate an infinite variety of messages - language is symbolic: sounds represent objects, actions, events, ideas - language is semantic: arbitrary words have similar meanings (e.g. pen, stylo, pluma) - language is generative: limited symbols are combined to generate infinite messages - language is structured: messages have structures that are governed by rules Structure of Language - human languages have hierarchical structure - phonemes: smallest speech units in a language that can be distinguished perceptually o e.g. /p/ in pill o 40 in English language - morphemes: smallest units of meaning in a language o e.g. ‘unfriendly’ has 3 morphemes: un (prefix), friend (word), ly (suffix) o approx. 50,000 in English language - semantics: area of language concerned with understanding the meaning of words and word combinations - denotation: dictionary definition of a word - connotation: includes emotional overtones and secondary implications - syntax: system of words that specify how words can be arranged into sentences (grammar) Milestones in Language Development - 3-month-old infants can distinguish phonemes from all world languages, whereas adults can’t readily discriminate the phonemes o ability disappears between 4 months to 12 months - by 7.5 months: infants begin to recognize common word forms - by 8 months: many infants show first signs of understanding meanings of familiar words - 1-5 months: reflexive communication like crying, cooing, laughter - 6-18 months: babbling, variety of sounds that correspond to phonemes o origin?:  1. motor achievement: reflects brain’s maturation in controlling the motor operations needed to eventually produce speech (byproduct of development)  2. key linguistic achievement: mechanism allowing infant to discover and produce “patterned structure of natural language” - 10-13 months: most children begin to utter sounds that correspond to words - by 18 months: toddlers can say 3-30 words o toddlers can understand more words spoken by others than they can produce o generally, early words are nouns (concrete) because they’re easier to encode than verbs - 18-24 months: vocabulary spurt o fast-mapping: process by which children map a word onto an underlying concept after 1 exposure (factor in vocabulary spurt) o overextension: child incorrectly uses a word to describe a wider set of objects or actions than it is mean to (~1 to 2½ )  e.g. using ‘ball’ for round objects such as an orange, moon, etc. o underextension: child incorrectly uses a word to describe a narrower set of objects or actions than it is mean to  e.g. child uses ‘doll‘ to refer only to a single, favourite doll nd - end of 2 year: children begin to combine words into “telegraphic” sentences o telegraphic speech: consists mainly of content words; articles, prepositions, and other less critical words are omitted (not universal) o mean length of utterance (MLU): average length of youngsters’ spoken statements (measured in morphemes) rd - end of 3 year: children can express complex ideas (e.g. plural or past tense) o overregulations: grammatical rules are incorrectly generalized to irregular cases where they do not apply  e.g. “The girl goed home” o children acquire grammatical skills gradually in small steps - school-age years: children generate longer and more complicated sentences as they receive more formal training in written language o metalinguistic awareness: ability to reflect on the use of language  children learn to play with language (e.g. puns, jokes, sarcasm, etc.) Janet Werker: studies language development in infants - babies have perceptual biases that facilitate language acquisition - optimal periods for different subsystems are involved in language acquisition - e.g. facilities for foreign phonemes disappear, facilities tune to phonemes of native language Laura-Ann Petitto: began working with chimps, teaching them American Sign Language - recently examining an “island of tissue” in the brain that may trigger language development Bilingualism: acquisition of 2 languages that use different speech sounds, vocabulary, and grammatical rules - some studies show bilingual children have smaller vocabularies in each of their languages than monolingual children in their own language - bilingual children have similar or slightly superior total vocabulary (when both languages’ vocabularies are combined) to monolingual children - little empirical evidence of language disadvantage in bilingualism - bilinguals may be slower in terms of speed of raw language-processing - bilinguals scored somewhat higher than monolinguals on measures of cognitive tasks - Ellen Bialystok examined effects of bilingualism on children’s cognition for many years o bilingualism associated with higher levels of controlled processing on attention tasks o bilingual children show an advantage on some aspects of metalinguistic awareness o bilingualism appears to have no negative effects on cognitive development o recently found that bilingualism helps attenuate age-related losses in cognition Second Language Acquisition - language more effectively acquired at a young age, especially 7 - acculturation: degree to which a person
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