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8 Mar 2011
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Memory Structures
Chapter 5
Encoding acquiring information
Retrieval calling to mind of previously stored information
Types of Memory
Modal model of memory assumes that information is received, processed and stored differently
for each kind of memory
Unattended information is stored briefly in sensory memory
Attended information is held in short-term memory (STM) 20-30 seconds
Information needed for longer periods of time is transferred to long-term memory (LTM)
Sensory Memory
Visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, gustatory
Two types of sensory memory: icon and echo (Neisser)
The Icon
We often perceive things as lasting longer than they occurred
S D F G
P W H J
X C V N
Sperling participants could only recall 5 of the 12 letters when the letters were shown briefly
(whole-report method)
Partial report technique
oParticipants would only need to recall a single row of the display but would not know
which row until after the display is shown
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oAuditory tone is used to cue the participants what row they had to repeat
o9/12 letters are available in sensory information
Only if tone is presented immediately after display
If delayed by 1 second level of recall is 4/12
Icon brief visual memory
The icon can be erased if other stimuli are presented immediately after the icon MASKING
Cueing by category or phonological sound is nearly impossible (Ex. Name all the letters that
rhyme with B)
Icon is only visual
The Echo
Participants are given are “four-earedlistening task
oFour channels of information (strings of letters) from different locations
oParticipants are asked to report all the letters they heard
oEach participant also held a board with four lights on it
Each light corresponds to one of the channels and the participants only report
letters of that particular channel
Participants could report more letters in partial reports
Information is stored briefly
Crowder echoic memory has a larger capacity than iconic memory > 20 seconds
Suffix effect when there is an auditory cue difficult to remember the last few items
oRecall cue (suffix) functions as an auditory mask
oNo effect if cue is a beep/tone/visual cue
The more similar the suffix is to the item on the list, the greater the suffix effect
Sensory memories are modality specific
oVisual sensory memory contains visual information, etc
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Memory Structures
Chapter 5
Memory capacity: VISUAL > AUDITORY
Length of time information can be stored: AUDITORY > VISUAL
Information is unprocessed
oStorage has to do with physical aspects of the stimuli rather than the meaning behind it
Short-Term Memory
People can recall more words at the beginning or at the end of a list than words in the middle
oSerial position effect
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 repetition of items
oIf words are read rapidly enough, the primacy effect disappears but the recency effect
stays intact
oIf the experimenter prevents the participant from reporting words right away, recency
effect disappears but not the primacy effect
Short-Term Store—Capacity
Capacity of STM is 7 2
Only way to overcome limitation is by chunking individual units into larger units
N F L C B C F B I M T V
NFL CBC FBI MTC
Chunking depends on knowledge
The process of forming chunks (recording) increases the amount of information we can
process at any given time
Short-Term Store—Coding
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Document Summary

Retrieval calling to mind of previously stored information. Information needed for longer periods of time is transferred to long-term memory (ltm) Sensory memory: visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, gustatory, two types of sensory memory: icon and echo (neisser) The icon: we often perceive things as lasting longer than they occurred.  only if tone is presented immediately after display. If delayed by 1 second  level of recall is 4/12. Icon  brief visual memory: the icon can be erased if other stimuli are presented immediately after the icon  masking, cueing by category or phonological sound is nearly impossible (ex. Name all the letters that rhyme with b)  each light corresponds to one of the channels and the participants only report letters of that particular channel.  participants could report more letters in partial reports. Chapter 5: memory capacity: visual > auditory, length of time information can be stored: auditory > visual.

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