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Chapter 8

Chapter 8.docx

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Course Code
PSYC 100
Russell Day

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Memory – the process that allows us to record and later retrieve experiences and information Memory as Information Processing Encoding – getting information into the system by translating it into a neural code that your brain processes Storage – retaining information over time - One in the system, information must be filed away and saved Retrieval – a way to pull information out of storage when we want to use it A Three-Component Model William James – memory has distinct yet interacting components - Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin proposed: o Memory has 2 major components:  1) Sensory Memory  2) Short-term or ‘working’ memory  3) Long –term memory o Model does not assume that each component corresponds to a specific structure within the brain  Rather, the components may involve interrelated neural sites, and memory researchers use these terms in a more abstract sense Sensory Memory Sensory Memory – hold incoming sensory information just long enough for it to be recognized - It is composed of different subsystems  called sensory registers o Are the initial information processors - Iconic Store - Our visual sensory register - Echoic Store – Auditory sensory register o Is studied by asking participants to recall different sets of numbers or letters that are simultaneously presented to their left and right ears via headphones o Echoic memory lasts longer than iconic memory Short-Term/Working Memory Through selective attention, a small portion enter short-term memory Short-term Memory – holds the information that we are conscious of at any given time - Also called working memory o Because it consciously processes codes, and ‘works on’ information Memory Codes Once information leaves sensory memory, it must be represented by some type of code if it is to be retained in short-term and eventually long-term memory - Such mental representations (or memory codes) can take various forms - These include: o Visual encoding – mental images o Phonological encoding – code something by sound o Semantic Encoding – focus on the meaning of a stimulus o Motor encoding – for physical actions, like learning sports or playing musical instruments The form of the memory code does not always correspond to the form of the original stimulus - Ex: visual words and letters are probably stored as phonological words or semantic meanings Capacity and Duration Short-term memory can hold only a limited amount of information at a time – limited Capacity - Depending on the stimulus (numbers, words, letters)most people can hold no more than 5-9 meaningful items in short-term memory o So George Miller set the capacity limit at ‘7 ± 2’ - The limit on short-term memory capacity concerns the number of meaningful units that can be recalled - Chunking – combining individual items into larger units of meaning o Can greatly aid recall Short-term memory is also limited in duration - Memory ‘shelf-life’ can last about 20 seconds - By rehearsing information, we can extend its duration in short0term memory indefinitely - Two methods to transfers information into long-term memory o 1) Maintenance Rehearsal – simple repetition of information to keep it in short-term memory o 2) Elaborative Rehearsal – focuses on the meaning of information or relating it to other things we already know  Ex: so you can rehearse the term iconic memory by thinking about examples of iconic memory in your own life Putting Short-term Memory ‘To Work’ According to the original 3-Stage Model: - Items that remain on the short-term memory eventually get transferred into the long-term memory - Primarily thought of as a loading platform or holding station for information along the route from sensory to long-term memory - Cognitive Scientists now reject this view of short-term memory as too passive and too sequential o Instead they view short-term memory as a working memory – a ‘mental workspace’ that actively and simultaneously processes different types of information and supports other cognitive functions  Like problem solving and planning, and interacts with long-term memory One model of how working memory stores information, processes it, and supports problem solving divides working memory into 4 components: - 1)Auditory Working Memory – We maintain some information in an auditory working memory (the ‘phonological loop’) o Ex: when you repeat phone numbers, names, or new vocabulary terms to yourself mentally - 2) Visual Spatial Working Memory (the ‘visuospatial sketchpad’) o Allows us to temporarily store and manipulate images and spatial information  Ex: when forming mental maps of the route to some destination - 3) Episodic Buffer – provides temporary storage space where information from long-term memory and from the phonological loop and/or visuospatial subsystems can be integrated, manipulated, and made available for conscious awareness - 4) Central Executive – directs the action o Is a control process o Decides how much attention to allocate to mental imagery and auditory rehearsal, calls up information from long-term memory, and integrates the input o Research suggests that the prefrontal cortex, which is the ‘executive function’, is heavily involved in directing the processing of information in working memory Long-Term Memory Long-Term Memory – our vast library of more durable stored memories Once formed, a long-term memory can endure for up to a lifetime – and capacity is essentially unlimited Serial Position Effect – where the first and last words in a list are easiest to remember - Has U-shaped pattern - Means recall is influenced by a word’s position in a series of items - It has 2 components: o 1) Primacy Effect – reflecting the superior recall of early words  Because the words in the list go into short-term memory which transfers into long-term memory but short-term memory fills up quickly o 2) Recency Effect – Representing the superior recall of the most recent words  Have not been bumped out of short-term memory by new information Encoding: Entering Information Encoding lets us activate information in long-term memory and access it 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 - Ex: Rehearsing, making lists, and taking class notes Automatic Processing – encoding that occurs without intention and requires minimal attention - Information about the frequency, spatial location, sequence, and timing of events often is encoded automatically Levels of Processing: When Deeper is Better Structural Encoding – is superficial because you only have to notice how the word looks - Requires shallow encoding Phonological (Phoneme) Encoding – Sounding out the word to yourself and deciding whether it (for example) matches another word - Requires intermediate encoding Semantic Encoding – paying attention to what the word means - Requires Fergus Craik and Robert Lockhart – Levels of Processing – the more deeply we process information, the better it will be remembered - From above, the semantic encoding involves the deepest processing because it requires us to focus on the meaning of the information - Can be difficult to measure Exposure and Rehearsal Simple repeated exposure to a stimulus without stopping to think about it represents shallow processing - Thousands of shallow exposures to a stimulus do not guarantee long-term retention Type of Rehearsals: 1) Maintenance Rehearsal – simple repetition - Is most useful for keeping information active in short-term, working memory - Can also help to transfer information into long-term memory - Inefficient for bringing about long-term transfer 2) Elaborative Rehearsal – focuses on the meaning of information - we elaborate on the material in some way - organizing information, thinking about how it applies to our own lives, and relating it to concepts or examples we already know - Craik and Lockhart – this involves deeper processing than maintenance rehearsal and show be more effective in transferring information into long-term memory Organizing and Imagery Imposing organization on a set of stimuli is an excellent way to enhance memory - An organizational scheme can enhance the meaningfulness of information and also serve as a cue that helps to trigger our memory for the information it represents Hierarchies and Chunking Organizing material in a hierarchy takes advantage of the principle that memory is enhanced by associations between concepts A logical hierarchy enhances our understanding of how these diverse elements 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 - Because the hierarchy ha a visual organization, there also is a greater possibility of using iagery as a supplemental memory code Chunking – the combining of individual items into a larger unit of meaning - It widens the information-processing bottleneck caused by the limited capacity of short-term memory Mnemonic Devices A mnemonic device is any type of memory aid - Ex: Hierarchies, chunking, acronyms Mnemonic devices do not reduce the amount of raw information you have to encode into memory when learning new material - But it does reorganize the information into more meaningful units and provide extra cures to help you retrieve information from long-term memory Visual Imagery Allan Paivio – information is store in long-term memory in 2 forms: 1) Verbal Codes 2) Non-Verbal Codes (Typically visual codes) Paivio – 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 - It is harder to use dual coding with some types of stimuli than others Abstract concepts are easier to encode semantically than visually Memory improvement books often recommend imagery to dual-code information – supported by research Greek developed imagery technique – method of loci (loci = places) - To remember a list of items or concepts, take an imagery stroll through an environment (like Monopoly game board) and form an image linking each place with an item or a concept How Prior Knowledge Shapes Encoding Long-term memory is densely packed with semantic codes that represent the meaning of information Schemas: Our Mental Organizers Schemas – The themes we extract from events and store in memory - Is a ‘mental framework’  an organized pattern of thought about some aspect of the world o Ex: people, events, situations, or objects - We form schemas through experience and they can strongly influence the way we encode material in memory - How we perceive a stimulus shapes the way we mentally represent it in memory - Schemas create a perceptual set  a readiness to perceive – to organize and interpret – information in a certain way Schemas, Encoding, and Expertise Acquiring expert knowledge can be viewed as a process of developing schemas – mental frameworks – that help to encode information into meaningful patterns Storage: Retaining Information Memory as a Network Memory is enhanced by elaborative rehearsal – involves forming associations between new information and other items already in memory The general principle that memory involves associations goes to the heart of the network approach Associative Networks One group of theories proposes that memory can be represented as an associative network Associative Network – a massive network of associated ideas and concepts - Each unit of information is represented by a node Alan Collins and Elizabeth Loftus – when people think about a concept there is a spreading activation of related concepts throughout the network - Priming – the activation of one concept (or one unit of information) by another Associative network provides a possible explanation for why hints and mnemonic devices help to stimulate our recall Neural Networks Neural Networks have nodes that are linked to one another, but these nodes are physical in nature and do not contain individual units of information - There is no single node for ‘red’, for ‘fire engine’, etc. - Each node is like a small information-processing unit Neural Network – each concept is represented by a particular pattern or set of nodes that become activated simultaneously - As a multitude of nodes distributed throughout the brain fire in parallel at each instant and spread their activation to other nodes, concepts and information are retrieved and thoughts arise o So neural network models are often called parallel distributed processing models (PDP) Types of Long-Term Memory Based on research with amnesia patients, cognitive scientists believe that we possess several long-term memory systems that interact with one another - The mind involves distinct yet interrelated modules Declarative and Procedural Memory Declarative Memory – involves factual knowledge, and includes two subcategories: 1) Episodic Memory – stores factual knowledge concerning personal experiences, when, where, and what happened in the episodes of our lives 2) Semantic Memory – Represents general factual knowledge about the world and languages including memory for words and concepts - These two memories are called declarative because to demonstrate our knowledge, we typically have tot ‘declare it’ – we tell other people what we know Procedural Memory – reflected in skills and action - Components: o 1) consists of skills that are expressed by ‘doing things’ in particu
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