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Chapter 5


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University of Waterloo
Jonathan Witt

Memory  Encoding: information is translated into a form that other cognitive processes can use  Information is held in storage for later retrieval  Acquiring information  Retrieval (the calling to mind previously stored information)  Forgetting- when information cannot be retrieved Memory enters into almost every cognitive activity Baddelely (1990) described the severe case of Clive Wearing, a musician who suffered brain damage caused by encephalitis and now has severe amnesia - His Amnesia was so bad that be cannot remember nothing from more than a few minutes before ( a state that he attributed to “having just recovered consciousness”) - Is able to conduct choirs and play piano - But cannot go out alone because he would get lost and not be able to find a way back home - Cannot recognize much in photographs of familiar places - Memories of his own life are vague Types of memory Modal model of memory: information is received, processes, and stored differently for each memory Sensory memory: store that holds incoming sensory information for very brief period of time Short-term memory (primary): where attended information is held for periods up to 20 or 30 seconds Long term memory (secondary): information needed for longer periods of time are transferred in to this storage Alan Baddelely’s working memory Sensory memory  Is closely connected to “perception”  Refers to the initial and brief storage of sensory information There is a belief that separate sensory memories exist for each sensory modality: 1. Visual 2. Auditory 3. Olfactory (smell) 4. Gustatory (taste) 5. Tactile (touch) 2 types of sensory memory (Icon and Echo) The Icon ; a sensory memory for visual stimuli (brief) Ex. See lightening lingering even after it has disappeared George Sperling Experiment: whole report technique presented p’s with display 500 milliseconds containing letters for 50 milliseconds and asked them to recall the letters that they saw on average, people could only did not improve performance report 4/5 out of the 12 letters p’s for both tests said they had seen all presented stimuli clearly - Once they started to report what they saw, forgot the rest - Even as p’s were recalling the display, the information was fading from wherever it was being stored conclusion: information lasts only briefly in this memory system Set up another method to more accurately measure the available content in his participants sensory store- partial report technique used the logic of a multiple choice test where: only a subset of total material is tested and the percent of correctly answered questions is used to measure the students knowledge of the entire material told p’s that they would only have to recall only a low: bottom row cingle row of the display – but they do know which med: middle row row until after the display high: top row - Auditory tone used to cue which row they were to report - a low, medium or high pitch tone was presented result: regardless of which tone was used participants recalled 9/12 available in sensory memory  as long as the tone was played right after the display  if tone was delayed the recall became 4/12 conclusion: the visual store can hold about 9 items (but only briefly) Neisser (1967) called this brief visual memory the icon Averbach and Coriell (1961) – masking: the icon can be “erased” by presenting other stimuli immediately after the icon Echo  Is a sensory memory storage for auditory material Moray, Bates, Barnett (1965)  4 eared listening task simultaneously, consisting of a string of random letters  Like Sperlings experiment, participants given partial reports could recall more letters.  Stores information briefly Crowder (1976): echoic memory has a larger capacity than iconic memory Watkins and Watkins: echoes can last longer than icons (up to even 20 seconds) Example: when asked “where did you put the keys” immediate response would be “huh? What?” but after a couple of seconds you answer “oh, over there”- the question is still lingering in your echoic store, allowing you to answer it even after the question has been spoken “suffix effect” Recall cue called the suffix, functions as a auditory mask because when recall cue is a simple beep or tone, or even visual stimulus there is not much effect. The more auditory similarity there is between the suffix and the items on the list, the greater the suffix effect “have a nice day” after giving someone a phone number should disrupt recall for the phone number because their pleasant sign offs acts as a suffix Sensory memory can be described by number of properties: 1) modality specific (ex. Visual sensory memory contains visual information) 2) visual sensory memory capacities seem to be larger than that of auditory but the length of time information that can be stored in longer in the auditory than the visual store 3) most of the information stored is unprocessed and has to do with physical aspects of stimuli rather tan meaning - is useful in everyday lives as it requires very little time for information to be presented to us and is available for processing quickly - it ensures that we will be able to “re-inspect” incoming data Short term memory (STM) Free-recall experiments: - People are given a list of words to remember and are asked to recall the words in any order - Experimenters compute the probability of recall of each word as a function of the words serial position in the original list in the form of a curve - The two ends of the curve are higher than in the middle - Serial position effect: People recall more words at beginning or ends of the list than the middle words - Primacy effect: improved recall of words at the beginning of the list - Recency effect: improved recall of words at the end of the list Rehearsal is thought to help items enter long term storage For text book references, STM will be material stored for up to a minute Capacity of STM: 7±2 is the maximum number of independent units we can hold in STM George Miller (1956)  Evidence: only able to recall a string of random digits if the sting contained seven or less digits  Same goes for different kinds of units: letters, words, abbreviations Can overcome the capacity limitation by chunking: the formation of individual units of information into larger units; often used as a means of overcoming short term memory limitations  Example of chunking: NFLCBCFBIMTV 12 letters can be formed into 4 sets NFL, CBC, FBI, MTV  Depends on knowledge. Person cannot make into 4 sets if they didn’t know what NFL was  Recoding (process of forming chunks- Miller) is a fundamental process of memory  Increases the amount of information we can process at one time  Strategy to overcome limitation of only 7 slots for information storing Coding  Way in which information if mentally represented (form in which the information is helf)  Conrad (1964) Experimental protocol: gave participants list of consonants for later recallletters were presented visually participants made errors when the sound was if P was presented, participants recalled a letter similar to the original stimuli than sounded like P rather than reporting a letter that looked like P participants are confused by sound, even though participants formed a mental representation of the original stimuli is visual the acoustic stimuli rather than visual Baddeley (1966) confirmed this effect  Even when words are used instead of letters, same results  Similar sounding words make for poor immediate recall  Acoustic code is regarded as the dominant code used Retention Duration and Forgetting STM: is the storage of information for short periods of time John Brown (1958) and Peterson (1959) came to the same conclusion that if the information is not rehearsed, it is lost from STM in a s little as 20 seconds Retention duration: the amount of time a memory trace remains available for retrieval Brown-Peterson task  Participants are give a 3 constant trigram such a BKG and then a number such as 347.  They are asked to count backwards out loud by threes at a specific rate given in time with a metronome.  Purpose is to prevent the participants from rehearsing the trigram  The length of time that the participants need to count varies  If the person only needs to count backwards for 3 seconds- 80% will recall the trigram  If counts for 18 seconds- 7% will recall the trigram Memory trace: the mental representation of stored information Decay: the process of forgetting in which material is thought to erode. Break apart, disintegrate or fade  If the memory trace is not rehearsed it will decay within 20 seconds Another proposal of a mechanism that explains forgetting is interference Interference: where some information can “displace” other information making the former hard to retrieve Analogy of Interference: your task is to find a paper on a teacher’s desk- at the beginning of the year it is easy to find but by the end there are so many papers that it is hard to find the paper of interest Interference in terms of the Brown- Peterson task we can say that the numbers that were asked to be counted down were actually interfering with their short term storage of the trigram. As they recite the numbers they are storing them in their STM and thus displacing the original information Keppel and Underwood (1962) – also support that interference, no decay is responsible for forgetting in STM - Suggest that over time Proactive interference (which is a phenomenon where earlier learned material disrupts the learning of new material) builds up. - Showed that even one trial of practice to recall a 3 letter trigram was enough to effect the memory of following trigrams Wickens, Born, and Allen (1963) - If STM and LTM are subject to proactive interference, they should also be subject to release from proactive interference. - If you learn a number of pieces of similar information, after a while any new information becomes more difficult because the older information interferes - The greater the similarity between the older information, the greater the interference - New and distinct information dereases the degree of interference Experiment to demonstrate release from proactive interference Gave participants a series of either 3 letters or numbers 10 trials Some people had all letters or all numbers for all 10 trials but some experienced a “switch” Participants who had a switch from letters to numbers or vise versa performed almost as well after the switch as they did on the first trial Their memory has been released, freed from proactive interference of the previous letters/numbers STM may lose information by more than one mechanism Baddeley (1990) argues that very little decay occurs along with interference Altmann and Gray (2002) propose that decay does occur and is essential to avoid harmful effects of proactive interference Ex> information must be updated frequently: when you are driving you have to remember the drivin
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