PSY270 - Feb 25th, 2014.pdf

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Elizabeth Johnson

Memory consolidation - encoding - ▯ Synaptic consolidation: interested in whats happening at the neuronal level and it is fast acting▯ Systems consolidation: involves multiple brain structures and can take decades ▯ Reconsolidating occurs when a memory is reactivated but over a much shorter time course (each time the memory is accessed it needs to be consolidated again) ▯ ▯ Synaptic consolidation ▯ - Hebb’s postulate: Cells that fire together, wire together (if one of them fires all of them fires) ▯ - According to Hebb, memories are stored in groups of cells that tend to be active at the same time ▯ - We now know that long-term potentiation increases the sensitivity of post-synaptic neurons by causing structural changes ▯ ▯ Systems consolidation ▯ - this is the type of memory that we need for memory ▯ - standard model: medial temporal lobe is particularly important for systems consolidation ▯ - hippocampus also plays a huge role in systems consolidation ▯ - hippocampus is needed for consolidation but once consolidated it is not needed anymore ▯ - memories are in the cortex ▯ - hippocampus is required to bind the information across different cortical areas - over time, cortical connections are strengthened ▯ - multiple trace theory: hippocampal - dependent for retrieval but for semantic memories only ▯ - unlike the standard model, MTT is hippocampal - dependent for consolidation and retrieval of episodic memories ▯ ▯ Reconsolidation ▯ - memory becomes fragile ▯ - each time you retrieve a memory, it can be changed ▯ - but the process is the same, just faster ▯ ▯ Autobiographical memories ▯ - consists of both semantic and episodic ▯ - research is interested in the qualities (how accurate are our personal memories) rather than quantity [usually inaccurate] ▯ - memories of life events tends to peak in adolescence or early adulthood - this is know as the reminiscence bump (majority of the events are positive things) ▯ - reminiscence bump is also observed for important world events and semantic memory too ▯ 1. cognitive hypothesis: memories in early adulthood occur in periods of rapid change followed by stability; nothing really special about the reminiscent bump [elaborate and distinct cues likely] ▯ 2. self-image hypothesis: formation of personal identity strengthens memories for the time period; forming a self concept, identify who you are; any kind of memory that can be linked to oneself is remembered better ▯ 3. maturational account: this is when our cognitive abilities are at their peak; reason being it is the time to attract a potential mate - showing that you are more smarter, faster - consequently you remember things better during that time ▯ 4. cultural life script hypothesis: memory is improved for positive culturally shared experiences; what you are expected to do - cultural expectation; everyone is talking about this stuff > enhanced your memory [results in increased elaborative rehearsal] = this is the one that is getting the most attention at the moment ▯ ▯ Flashbulb memories ▯ - these are memories that are highly believed accurate ▯ - event at one moment ▯ - events that we can remember as though we are there ▯ - tend to be emotional and surprising ▯ - Talarico & Rubin (2003) studied flashbulb memories for September 11 ▯ - over time the accuracy of the memory decreased ▯ - flashbulb memories don’t seem to be more accurate than everyday memories ▯ ▯ - Narrative rehearsal hypothesis: a result of more frequent and elaborate rehearsal ▯ - of you live through the traumatic event, you can not get away
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