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Chapter 6

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PSYC 213
Jelena Ristic

CHAPTER SIX: MEMORY SYSTEMS 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 knowledge - tacit knowledge: knowing how to do something without being able to say exactly what it is that you know - 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 factors - 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 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 term o e.g. participants are able to guess the first letter of the desired word with a high degree of accuracy - 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 - the semantic memory involves searching through three network elements: units (sets of objects generally labelled by nouns), properties (descriptive of the objects; adjectives), and pointers (specifying the relationship between units and properties; verbs) - mental chronometry: measuring how long cognitive processes take; i.e. to search through the semantic network for true statements take less time if they are more similar and closer together in the network - critique comes from the fact that is not specific how a statement is known to be false - Moses illusion: people will respond to questions with embedded errors by assuming a piece of learning that is relevant; e.g. answering the question “how many animals of each kind did Moses take on the Ark” with two, disregarding that it was Noah on the Ark and not Moses o theorized to be because of the semantic and phonological similarity between the two names spreading activation (Quillian, Collins and Loftus, Anderson) – searching a semantic network activates paths sprea
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