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Chapter 6

PSYC 213 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Episodic Memory, Semantic Network, Implicit Memory

Course Code
PSYC 213
Jelena Ristic

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Tulving and the Theory of Memory Systems
principle of encoding specificity: the way that an item is retrieved from memory depends on the way that it was
stored in memory; i.e. a cue is more likely to lead to the recall of an item if the cue was coded along with that
item initially
- in the experiments by Tulving and Thomson, participants learned pairs of weakly associated words (one
weak cue word paired with one target word) and completed word recall tasks, to the end that target
words were generated without there being recognition of the word
o effect known as recognition failure of recallable words
episodic memory storage and retrieval of temporally dated, spatially located, and personally experienced
events or episodes (autobiographical)
semantic memory storage and utilization of knowledge and words and concepts, their properties and
interrelations (general knowledge)
- case study of amnesia patient WJ, studied to show that episodic and semantic memories are represented
separately, and that one can have access to the latter without having access to the former
recency bias vs. primacy bias: a tendency to recall experiences from the recent past compared to a tendency to
recall experiences from the relatively distant past
The Development of the Theory of Memory Systems
- revisions and additions to Tulving’s work suggests that there may be as many as five different memory
systems; three in addition to episodic and semantic memory (procedural memory, perceptual
representation system, and working memory)
procedural memory the memory system concerned with knowing how to do things; concerned a form of tacit
- tacit knowledge: knowing how to do something without being able to say exactly what it is that you
- explicit knowledge: knowing that something is the case; is included in semantic memory
Episodic Memory and Autonoetic Consciousness
- anoetic: non-knowing; associated with procedural memory not being able to go beyond what it is in the
immediate situation
- noetic: knowing; associated with semantic memory because we are aware of both immediate and absent
- autonoetic: self-knowing; associated with episodic memory in being involved with personal experiences
frontal leucotomy a surgical procedure whereby the connections between the prefrontal lobes and other parts
of the brain are severed resulting in listlessness and apathy; provided evidence that frontal lobe damage can
diminish autonoetic consciousness
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chronesthesia our subjective sense of time as defined by Tulving; involved with the uniquely human capacity
of changing environmental circumstance by being aware of their own continued existence in time
- due to the fact that young children (generally before the age of four) do not experience episodic memory,
it is suggested that episodic memory develops out of semantic memory
- butcher-on-the-bus phenomenon: the feeling of knowing in the absence of episodic memory leading to
Tulving’s suggestion that there is a distinction between knowing and remembering
o implicit memory memory without episodic awareness; the expression of previous experience
without conscious recollection of the experience
described by the fame judgement task: an individual has implicit memories of a name
being familiar (and thereby assuming fame) without realizing (having been told at an
earlier point in time) that the names are non-famous
also studied are fragmented words that are tested with the method of opposition: pitting
conscious/explicit and unconscious/implicit tendencies against one another, so that
conscious control over behaviour is shown to be not exhibited in recall tasks regardless of
information having been presented implicitly or explicitly
Perceptual Representation System
perceptual representation system the memory system containing very specific representations of previously
encountered events; hypothesized to be responsible for priming effects
- primed identification of previously encountered objects differentiated from explicit recollection of past
events, or episodic memory
o PRS deals with information on a more superficial level
Semantic Memory
- semantic memory was compared by Tulving to a mental thesaurus
tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon: knowing that you know something without quite being able to recall it; the
missing element often is recognized to be very specific
- generic recall (Brown and McNeill): associated concepts are often remembered first before the desired
o e.g. participants are able to guess the first letter of the desired word with a high degree of
- resolutions to the TOT phenomenon shows that the majority are recalled primarily after the recall
attempt has be given up; resolutions may come from a memory search, consulting a book, having the
word pop-up, etc.
- shows that TOT state takes longer to resolve if there are persistent alternates, or incorrect words that
come repeatedly to mind, leading to suggestions of interference with recall attempt
- TOTs occur predominantly with words that have not been used very often or very recently, suggesting
atrophy in the linkage between meaning and pronunciation
teachable language comprehender (TLC) a computer program created by Quillian that was a first-generation
model of semantic memory
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