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Chapter 6

PSY270H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Connectionism, Neuropsychology, Backpropagation

Course Code
Christine Burton

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Chapter 6: Long-Term Memory- Structure
The different types of memory can interact and share mechanisms
Comparing STM and LTM Processes
LTM is the system that is responsible for storing information for long periods of time
Stretches from just a few moments ago to as far back as we can remember
Recent memories tend to be more detailed
Provides both an archive that we can refer to when we want to remember events from the
past and a wealth of background information that we are constantly consulting as we use
Serial Position Curve
Memory is better for words at the beginning of the list and at the end of the list than for
words in the middle
The primacy effect occurs because subjects have more time to rehearse words at the
beginning of the list
The most recently presented words are still in STM and therefore are easy for subjects to
Coding in STM and LTM
Coding: the form in which stimuli are represented
Auditory coding is the predominant type of coding in STM
Semantic coding often occurs for LTM
Locating Memory in the Brain
The fact the H.M.s STM remained in tact suggested that STM and LTM are served by
separate brain regions
K.F. had impaired STM but normal LTM
Double dissociation between STM and LTM; caused by different mechanisms which can
act independently
Brain imaging
The hippocampus is involved in maintaining novel information in memory during short
Although there is good evidence for the separation of STM and LTM, there is also
evidence that these functions are not as separated as previously thought
Episodic and Semantic Memory

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Distinctions Between Episodic and Semantic Memory
The defining property of the experience of episodic memory is that is involves mental
time travel (the experience of travelling back in time to reconnect with events that
happened in the past)
oFeel as though you are re-experiencing it
oSelf-knowing or remembering
The experience of semantic memory involves accessing knowledge about the world that
does not have to be tied to remembering a personal experience
oAccessing things we are familiar with and know about
K. C. lost his episodic memory and can no longer relive any of the events of his past
(episodic), but still knew that certain things happened (semantic)
An Italian women showed the opposite problems
Double dissociation between semantic and episodic memory
Memory for these two different types of information probably involves different
Brain imaging
While there can be overlap between activation caused by episodic and semantic
memories, there are also major differences
Interaction between these two systems
Interactions Between Episodic and Semantic Memory
Knowledge affects experience
We bring a vast store of knowledge with us as we are having the experiences we will later
Our knowledge (semantic memory) guides our experience, and this, in turn, influences
the episodic memories that follow from the experience
Autobiographical memory contains both semantic and episodic components
Autobiographical memory: memory for specific experiences from our life
The semantic components are called personal semantic memories because they are facts
associated with personal experiences
What happens to episodic and semantic memories as time passes?
Familiarity is associated with semantic memory because it is not associated with the
circumstances under which knowledge was acquired
Recollection is associated with episodic memory because it includes details about what
was happening when the knowledge was acquired and an awareness of the event as it was
experienced in the past
Semanticization of remote memories: loss of episodic detail for memories of long-ago

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Imagining the Future
Evidence of a connection between the ability to remember the past and the ability to
create future scenarios
All brain regions active during silent description of the past were also active during silent
description of the future
Suggests that similar neural mechanisms are involved in remembering the past and
predicting the future
Constructive episodic simulation hypothesis: episodic memories are extracted and
recombined to construct simulations of future events
Perhaps the main role of the episodic memory system is not to remember the past, but to
enable people to simulate possible future scenarios in order to help anticipate future
needs and guide future behaviours
Both episodic and semantic memory systems need to be functioning in order for us to
think about the personal future
Processing Memory, Priming, and Conditioning
Explicit memory: memories we are aware of
Implicit memory: memories we aren’t aware of
Procedural Memory
Also called skill memory
Memory for doing things that usually involve learned skills
Implicit in nature
Occurs when the presentation of one stimulus changes the way a person responds to
another stimulus
Propaganda effect: subjects are more likely to rate statements they have read or heard
before as being true, simply because they have been exposed to them before
Chapter 7: Long-Term Memory- Encoding, Retrieval, and Consolidation
Encoding: the process of acquiring information and transferring it into LTM
oSome methods of encoding are more effective than others
Coding refers to the form in which information is represented (ex: visually)
Retrieval: the process of transferring information from LTM into working memory to
become consciously aware of it
Even if information is LTM, it doesn’t help if you can’t retrieve it
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