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NROC64H3 Chapter Notes -Episodic Memory, Memory Span, Information Processing Theory

Course Code
Mark Schmuckler

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Ch 9- psyb20
Information processing theory
-inform from the environment or input initially enters the cognitive system through the process
of perception
-info is encoded into some symbolic form so that it can be examined mentally, then it is
expelled because it is no longer needed or it is saved and used later
-human thinkers are able to become more cognitively skilled through changes in their brains
and sensory systems and in the rules and strategies of thinking that they learn over the course
of development
-when the human mind solves problems is has the flexibility to consider a broad range of
factors and as a result it takes longer to do the job
Basic assumptions of the info processing approach
-thinking is info processing, mental activity involves taking info into the mind and operating on
it in ways that make it usable
-there are mechanisms or process of change that underlie the processing of info. With dev
children become better able to represent or encode info in their minds
-mechanisms of info processing-encoding, strategy construction, automatization and
-cognitive dev is a self modifying process, the child uses the strategies she has acquired from
earlier problem solutions to modify her response to a new problem
-careful task analysis is crucial the task or problem situation itself influences the childs cognitive
-careful task analysis often involves error analysis or attending to the errors children male
-microgenetic analysis: involves detailed examination of how a child solves a problem over a
single learning episode or over several episodes that occur close in time
Information processing models
the multi-store model
-it describes this process in terms of the various types of storage units that are involved and
hence the name mutli storage
-acquire info from the environment through the sensory register
-the sensory register can store visual sensory info for only one second
-info in the sensory register is transformed or encoded into a mental representations then
placed in storage area referred to as short term memory or working memory
-it is limited in the number of meaningful units or chunks of info it can hold at any one time as
well as how long it can hold this info
-it allows us to respond to a rather continuous flow of incoming info
-the faster a child can rehearse a piece of info. The more info retained
-long term memor knowledge is retained over a long period of timeeee
-long term mem stores the strategies for building new knowledge
-info transferred from short to long term can be retained for an indefinite period of time

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Connectionist model
-info is described as an elaborate set of neural connections and thinking involves processing of
info as it spreads throughout the network, or what is referred to as parallele distributed
processing (neural networks)
Neo-piagetian info processing models
-they attempt to integrate piagets ideas with that of an information processing perspective
-the stage like dev of cognition described by piaget is based on improvements in memory
capacity and executive control
-executive control structure: which is a mental blueprint, or plan for solving a class of problems
-an executive control structure has 3 components, a representation of the problem. A
representation of the goal of the prob and a representative strategy for attaining the goal
Cognitive processes: what are they? How do they contribute to development
-cognitive processes: which are the mechanisms or ways that the human mental systems
operations on info
Encoding and representation
-we encode info and change into mental representations only when we find it relecant
-mental representation: is the term used to describe info that is stored mentally in some form
-one thing can stand for or represent something else
-a script reflects a particular event or series of events that are based on common experiences of
daily life, and how those events will unfold
-are conscious cognitive of behavioral activities that are used to enhance mental performance
-the main purpose of a strategy is to decrease the load on the child’s info processing system by
increasing the efficiency of each process and freein up space
-involves making behaviors that once we conscious and controlled into unconscious and
automatic ones ex: learning to drive stick, learn then its just automatic
-children apply a strategy learned while solving a problem in one situation to a similar problem
in a new situation
-children may need to gain familiarity with the use of a rule, using it many times over, before
they can successfully generalize it to new situations
The roles of the executive control process and the knowledge base in info processing
-exectutive control procees: guides the child I the selection and use of strategies
-a child’s knowledge base plays a major role in his abilities to process info and solve problems
-when childnre are given problem in an area in which they know a great deal, they will equal
and even surass the performance of less knowledgeable adults

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-expertise can enhance cognitive processing in children in a familiar domain but that this
expertise does not influence performance in other domains.
Developmental changes in some significant cognitive abilities
-attention involves the identification and selection of particular sensory input for more detailed
-how children’s experiences affect them depends on what aspects of a situation children
attend to and what meaning theis information has for them
-children have difficulty controlling their attention when they are young
Control of attention
-very young children have short attention periods
-between 2 and 3 months of age the focus of the infant’s attention shifts from the external
contours of the objects toward the internal features
-3-9 months, attention to solve simple problems
-research with preschool school aged children shows that distraction can sometimes facilitate a
children’s performance
-school aged children perform better on learning tasks when there are visual or auditory
distractions present when they are not present
Learning to attend to what is relevant
-selective attention: which the child focuses on the relevant aspect of the environment and
ignores the irrelevant features
-the processessing of relevant info increases steadily throughout the elementary and high
school years
Attention and planning
-older children develop a plan of action to guide attention as they solve problems
-the ability to attend selectively combines with planning which is the deliberate organization of
a sequence of action oriented toward achieving a goal-this increases with dev
-even in meaningful contexts, preschoolers can run into difficulty regulating their attention
while they plan because they are less able to inhibit or suspend action during activity, a
behavior that is critical to planning
-planning is often done in social situations, so planning ahead aids for more efficiency
-sharing responsibility for carrying out tasks helps children understand the problem from the
perspective of another person
-learning about the thinking of another appears to enhance the child’s own understanding of
the problem
-short term memory is the conscious area of memory long term is where we store knowledge
that we retain for long periods of time
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