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Working Memory.docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2650
Dan Meegan

Working Memory 9/21/2012 8:01:00 AM Working Memory Stages of Memory: acquisition (learning new thing), storage (held in memory) and retrieval (search processes) Short Term memory: mental “desk space” (RAM), immediately available, limited capacity Long Term memory: “reference library” (hard drive) Modal Model:  information processing view of memory  each sequence does its own job  output of previous step is input for next step  theory focuses on process through which information is detected, reorganized and entered into memory  working memory – emphasizes function of memory o limited capacity of short term memory o need to hold on to early parts of input in order to put meaning for example o mental “desk space” Role of STM in LTM Formation  Rehearse contents of STM  More rehearsal increases chances of transfer to LTM  If item left STM before transfer to LTM, it would be lost  STM can’t hold items for very long time because new items competing for limited capacity Critics of Modal Model  Questioned STM / LTM distinction o Is STM distinct from LTM?  Primacy Effect: subjects are likely to remember the first few words on the list  Recency Effect: subjects are likely to remember the last few words on the list Lab #3: Serial Position Effect  Free recall: can recall the words in any order  Serial Position Curve (SPC) So is STM distinct from LTM?  Yes o Recency effect: more recent items are still in STM  Were not bumped out by new material o Primacy effect: first few items underwent most memory rehearsal (thus transferred to LTM)  Words later in the list receive less attention and memory rehearsal o STM = recency portion of SPC o LTM = pre-recency portion of SPC  Variables that only affect LTM should only affect pre- recency  Independent variable: rate of list presentation o LTM: affected by presentation rate because more time to rehearse each item  The slower you present the words, the more time words have the be rehearsed therefore more are transferred into LTM  Slower list presentation should have no influence on working memory performance (no effect on recency effect) o STM and working memory: not affected by presentation rate because it is limited in capacity not by rate of intake  Limited to 6-7 words before having to choose which words to rehearse  Manipulation of working memory should only effect recall of recent material  Allow participants to recall what they remember immediately after list ends  Ask participants to count backwards from 201 by 3’s for 30 seconds before recalling  Hypothesize this will bump out the last few words that were stored in working memory  Should have no impact on recall of first few words  Being recalled from LTM not working memory  Correct Working Memory:  Modal model emphasiz
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