PSY313H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Procedural Memory, Echoic Memory, Iconic Memory

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Published on 11 May 2013
PSY213 Chapter 5 Notes
Studying Memory Systems
Scientists now see memory, not as a single capacity but as a complex, dynamic system of
processes and “storehouses”
Two perspectives of studying human memory systems:
o Information-processing research explores mental operations involved in remembering:
the software of memory
Using computer science concepts: encoding, storage, search, and retrieval
o Biological research maps physical structures, biochemical mechanisms, and wiring” of
brain + nervous system: the hardware of memory
Begun to pinpoint physical locations of where various memory functions and
connections take place through animal studies, observations of people with
brain damage and recording brain activity
Information-Processing Approach: Software of Memory
Goal is to discover what people do with information from the time they perceive it until they
use it
o Focuses on individual differences in intelligent behaviour
o Suited for describing changes that take place over the lifespan
Assumptions of this approach:
o Human beings actively seek useful information about their world
o Human beings can handle only a limited amount of information at a given time;
information not currently being used must be stored in memory
o Information that comes in through the sense is transformed by a series of mental
processes into a form suitable for storage and later recall
Most information-processing studies are cross-sectional, and their findings may reflect cohort
differences rather that age-related changes
Processes: Encoding, Storage, and Retrieval
memory as a three-step filing system: encoding, storage, and retrieval
Encoding attaches a “code” or “label” to the information to prepare it for storage, easier to find
when needed.
Store the material
retrieve the information when we need it
precise mechanisms involved in encoding, storage, and retrieval may vary with the situation
o type of information,
o how the information is to be used
item that is misfiled will be hard to retrieve.
Problems also can arise when an item fits in more than one category.
, similar items, can cause confusion unless their encoding is distinctive
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