PSYC 221 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Autobiographical Memory, Episodic Memory, Temporal Lobe

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17 Feb 2016
Chapter 6: Long-Term Memory: Structure
Division and interaction
oDivision- distinguishing different types of memory
oInteraction- how the different types of memory interact
oBehavioural experiments
oNeuropsychological studies of the effects of brain damage on memory
oBrain imaging experiments
Comparing Short-Term and Long-Term Memory Processes
Long-term memory-
oThe system responsible for storing info for long periods of time
oAn “archive” of info about past experiences in our lives and knowledge we have learned
oLTM coordinates with working memory to help create our ongoing experience
oLonger duration and larger capacity
Murdoch (1962) studied the distinction between STM and LTM by measuring a function called the serial position curve
oThe percentage of subjects recalling each word (y-axis) vs. its position on the list (x-axis)
oMemory is better for words at the beginning of the list (primacy effect) and at the end of the list (recency effect) than
in the middle
Rundus (1971)
oStudied the idea that the primacy effect occurs because subjects have more time to rehearse words at the beginning of
the list
20 words at a rate of 1 word every 5 seconds
Presented another list and asked subjects to repeat the words out loud during the 5 second intervals
Not told which words to repeat
oThe initial part of the serial curve stayed the same (primacy effect) because words at the beginning of the list were
repeated more, so they are more likely to get into the LTM
As additional words are presented, less rehearsal is possible for later words
Glanzer and Cunitz (1966)
oConcluded that the recency effect occurs because the most recently presented words are still in the STM and are easier
to remember
oHad subjects recall the words after they had counted backwards for 30 seconds right after hearing the last word
Prevented rehearsal
Allowed for info to be lost from STM
Eliminated the recency effect
Coding in Short-Term and Long-Term Memory
oThe form in which stimuli are represented
Physiological approach to coding
Determining how a stimulus is represented by the firing of neurons
Mental approach to coding
How a stimulus or an experience is represented in the mind
oVisual coding
oAuditory coding
oSemantic coding
Visual coding
oSTM: Remembering a pattern by representing is visually in your mind
oLTM: Remembering your 5th grade teachers face or a place from the past
Auditory coding
oSTM: Conrad’s phonological similarity effect, which showed that people often misidentify letters that sound the same
like “F” and “S”
oLTM: Playing a song in your head or hearing the beginning of the next song during the silence when playing a CD
Semantic coding
oSTM: The Wickens Experiment (1976)
Placing words in an STM task into categories based on their meaning
Subjects listened to 3 words, counted backwards for 15 seconds, then recalled the words for 4 trials
Fruits group- 4 trials of 3 fruits
Professions followed by fruits group- 3 trials of professions and 1 trial of fruits
Idea was to create a proactive interference attributed to the meaning of the words
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Fruits group showed reduced performance on trials 2, 3, and 4
Professions followed by fruits group showed reduced performance on trials 2 and 3 and then increased
performance on trial 4
oThis increase in performance is called release from proactive interference
oLTM: The Sachs Experiment (1967)
Had subjects listen to a tape recording of a passage
Measured their recognition memory-
Identification of a stimulus that was encountered earlier
To determine if they remembered the exact wording of sentences or the general meaning
Had to chose which sentence was identical from 4 sentences
Locating Memory in the Brain
oH.M. (1953)
Experimental procedure to remove epileptic seizures
Removal of hippocampus on both sides of brain
Succeeded in decreasing seizures
Eliminated ability to form new LTM
STM remained intact (retrograde amnesia)
Hippocampus has a role informing new LTM
Suggested STM and LTM are served by separate regions
Musician in England
Got viral encephalitis in his 40’s
Destroyed parts of his medial temporal lobe
Hippocampus, amygdala, and other structures
Like H.M., lives his life in the most recent 1 or 2 minutes
Damage to parietal lobe in a motorcycle accident
Poor STM
Reduced digit span (2 instead of 5-9)
Recency effect reduced in his serial curve
oDouble dissociation
H.M. and Wearing have intact STM but impaired LTM
K.F. have intact LTM but impaired STM
STM and LTM are caused by different mechanisms, which act independently
Brain imaging
oRanganath and D’Esposito (2001)
Does the hippocampus (which is crucial for forming new LTM) also have a role in STM?
Sample face shown for 1 seconds, followed by a 7 second delay
Then a test face was presented, and subject decided if it was a familiar face or a novel face
Results of fMRI
Activity in hippocampus increases as they are holding novel faces in memory (STM)
Activity changes only slightly for the familiar faces (LTM)
oConcluded that the hippocampus is involved in maintaining novel information during short
oThere is evidence for the separation for STM and LTM but also evidence that these functions are not as separated as
previous thought
Episodic and Semantic Memory
Episodic – memory for experiences
Semantic – memory for facts
Differences Between Episodic and Semantic Memory
Differences in experience- Tulving (1985)
Involves mental time travel- reliving it
Self-knowing or remembering
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