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Chapter 7

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PSYC 100
James Mac Dougall

Chapter 7Attention and MemoryMemorythe nervous systems capacity to acquire and retain usable skills and knowledgeHow does attention determine what is remembered Attention is important function of everyday lifeVisual attention is selective and serialParallel processingprocessing multiple types of information at the same timeIn a visual search task there are both targets and distractorsSerialwhen you look at the stimuli one at a timeEffortfultakes longer and requires more attentionVisual attention operates both through automatic and effortful processesoWe automatically and rapidly identify stimuli that differ for one feature size colour orientationAuditory attention allows selective listeningAttention is limitedhard to do two things at onceIs okay to do two different systems at once ie listening to music and driving but not two conversations at a timeSometimes multitasking can be hazardousWhile proximityloudness influence what you will attend to your attention can also determine which conversation you hearEC Cherry developed selectivelistening studies examining what peoples minds do with unattended information when people pay attention to one taskoShadowingthe participant wears headphones that deliver one message to one side and different messages to the otheroMust repeat the message that was specifiedwill get lost and confused with other messagesSelective attention can operate at multiple stages of processingDonald Broadbent developed filter theory to explain selective nature of attentionPeople have limited capacity for sensory informationscreens incoming information for only most importantSome stimuli demand attentionvirtually shut off ability to attend to anything elseSome stimuli those that evoke emotion readily capture attention because they provide important information about potential threats in environmentSomething will produce stronger attentional response when it is viewed as socially relevant than when it is viewed in nonsocial environmentChange blindnessthe common failure to notice large changes in environmentsoWe are blind to large changes in environment because we cannot attend to everything in vast array of visual infooChange blindness shows that we can attend to limited amount of informationlarge discrepancies exist between what most people believe they see and what they actually seeoShow how attention influences memoryWhat are the basic stages of memoryMemory is in three distinct phasesoEncoding phasethe processing of information so that it can be storedOccurs at the time of learningAs information is acquired encoded changed into a neural code that the brain can useoStorage phasethe retention of encoded representation over time that corresponds to some change in the nervous system that registers the eventFraction of a second or as long as a lifetimeoRetrieval phasethe act of recalling or remembering stored information to use itReaching into memory storage to findretrieve previously encodedstored memory when we need itPsychologists describe memory as sensory memory shorttermworking memory and longterm memoryoModal memory modelthree stage memory system that involves sensory memory shortterm memory and longterm memoryoRichard Atkinson and Richard ShiffrinoIs inaccurate and incompleteSensory memory is briefSensory memorymemory for sensory information that is stored briefly close to its original sensory formTemporary memory systemlasts fraction of second closely tied to sensory systemSensory system tranduces changes information into neural impulses result of neuron firing in brainMemory of sightsound created by intricate patterns of neural activity in brainSensory memory occurs when light sound odour taste tactile impression leaves vanishing trace on nervous systemGeorge Sperlinginitial empirical support for sensory memoryoExperimentally determined that visual memory persisted for 13 second after which sensory memory trace fades progressively until no longer accessibleoLetter repeating when compartmentalized allowed for more memory to be keptSensory memories allows us to experience world as continuous stream instead of discrete sensationsWorking memory is activeInformation attended to is passed from sensory stores to short term memory STMa limited capacity memory system that holds information in awareness for a brief periodShortterm systemworking memory WMan active processing system that keeps different types of information available for current useAlso known as immediate memoryemphasizes contents of fleeting thoughts evershifting feelings temporary impressions of things in world
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