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Chapter 5

Chapter 5 Notes

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2650

Cognitive Psychology – Chapter 5 – The Acquisition of Working Memories and the Working Memory System Acquisition: the process of placing new information into long-term memory Storage: the state in which a memory, once acquired, remains dormant until it is retrieved Retrieval: the process of locating information in the memory and activation that information for use Information Processing: a particular approach to theorizing in which complex mental events, such as learning, remembering, and deciding, are understood as being built up out of a large number of discrete steps - these steps occur one by one, with each providing as its “output” the input to the next step in the sequence Modal Model: a nickname for a specific conception of the “architecture” of memory - in this model working memory serves both as the storage site for material now being contemplated and also as the “loading platform” for long-term memory - information can reach working memory through the process of perception, or it can be drawn from long-term memory - once in working memory, material can be further processed, or it can be recycled for subsequent use Short-term memory (now called working memory): the storage system in which information is held while that information is being worked on - all indications are that working memory is a system, not a single entity, and that information is held here via active processes, not via some sort of passive storage Long-term memory: contains all of the information you remember: your memories of what you did yesterday, how you spent your childhood, a vast number of facts about various topics, the names and faces of a hundred acquaintances and so on - retrieval from long-term memory takes time and effort Primacy effect: an often-observed advantage in remembering the early-presented materials within a sequence of materials - occurs because one can focus attention on these items, because at the beginning of a sequence one is obviously not trying to divide attention between these items and other items in the series Recency effect: the tendency to remember materials that occur late in a series Memory rehearsal: any mental activity that has an effect of maintaining information in working memory Digit-span task: a task often used for measuring working memory’s storage capacity - research participants are read a series of digits and must immediately repeat them back - if they do this successfully they are given a slightly longer list and so forth - the length of the longest list a person can remember in this fashion is that persons digit span - memory can hold 7 items plus or minus two Operation span: a measure of working memory’s capacity - this measure turns out to be predictive of performance in many other tasks, presumably because these tasks all rely on working memory - example: solve the math problem correctly then remember the word Visuospatial buffer: one of the low-level assistants used as part of the working memory system - plays an important role in storing visual or spatial representations, including visual images Art
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