Chapter 7 Textbook Notes
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PSYB65 Textbook notesChapter 7: Memory 1
WHAT IS MEMORY
•Memory is not a unitary phenomenon.
•Memory: concerned with retrieving the information from where it was stored (retrieval).
•Learning: is a relatively permanent change in behavior as a function of experiences (concerned
with attending to the information encoding, and storing it for later use consolidation).
•Learning and memory depend critically on one another, they are called experience-dependent
Sensory Memory and Short-Term Memory
•Sensory Memory: turn a bright light in a dark room, look at the light, then turn it off. You can
still “see” the image of the light. These sensory memories are short term.
Iconic memory: visually based, very fragile, and reliant on peripheral stimuli (If you flash a
certain info, then flash a bright light, the info would be “erased”)
color, motion, and shape can all be stored in iconic memory.
2 sides of the brain perform it equally as well.
Use of tachistoscope
Echoic Memory: sound based, very fragile and temporary memory store.
Very similar to iconic memory, just two different form of stimuli.
•Both iconic and echoic memories are converted to a more durable form of memory for the
individual to recall. short-term memory.
•Short-term memory: responsible for holding information for periods beyond what can be
stored by sensory memory, although like sensory traces, they're not permanent.
Can be in any sensory modality.
Short-term visual memory: information stored much longer than just 2 seconds (unlike
iconic memory). Does not get interrupted when there is a distraction (unlike iconic
Short-term auditory memory: information stored much longer, interruption causes barely
any effects. listening / repeating a speech with right ear while another speech is being
played into the left.
Chunking: improves your ability to hold larger sets of information in short-term memory.
We can only hold 7 numbers in my short term memory, but we can somehow remember a
long distance phone number like 1(306)867-5309. This is because they're broken down into
groups for us to Chunk.
•Brown-Peterson design: short-term memory is not a permanent store, they're rapidly forgotten,
especially if there is a distraction.
Retroactive interference: the learning of new materials interferes with the recall of
previously learned material.
Proactive interference: new learning is disrupted by previously learned material.
Trace discrimination theory: short-term memories begin to degrade spontaneously over
time and that retrieval of short-term memory requires that the information be distinct from
other pieces of stored information.
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PSYB65 Textbook notesChapter 7: Memory 2
•Working Memory: contains information that is going to be acted on or used in some fashion
(remember where you parked your car after watching a game).
Can retrieve information from long-term memory (remembering an old friend's phone
Central Executive: primary component responsible controlling attention and supervising
the two “slave” subsystem. The 2 subsystems are responsible for manipulating different
types of information.
Phonological loop: 1 of the subsystem responsible for manipulating linguistic information.
It is the subsystem that is best understood so far.
Visuospatial sketchpad (VSSP): 1 of the subsystem responsible for manipulating
visuospatial information like mental imagery and spacial locations.
The Phonological Loop
•2 components: phonological store and an inner speech (articulatory control process).
•Phonological store temporarily holds linguistic information for no more than 2 seconds, unless
it is “refreshed” by the inner speech.
•Articulatory control process is used when written words are converted into the phonological
sounds of language, thereby producing inner speech.
•Dual-task paradigm is used to investigate the phonological loop. The form of this paradigm
used is called articulatory suppression works kind of like trying to carry a phone
conversation AND speaking to someone in person at the same time (you often miss important
parts of the conversation).
•The storage capacity of the loop is limited by the number of sounds that a participant can make
in a brief period of time.
The Visuospatial Sketchpad (VSSP)
•2 subunits: 1 responsible for mental imagery, and one for spatial information.
•Information can either come from the environment (visual perception) or from mental imagery.
•Just like the phonological loop, information in VSSP are temporary, and can be disrupted by an
•Working memory for spacial locations is separable from that of imagery.
The central execute
•the ability to switch among strategies to find the best solution to the problem.
•Able to allocate attention so that, more than one task can be done at one time to shut down
competing activity when situations require more attention (walking to class while thinking hard,
and ends up at the class without remembering how you got there)
•supervisory attentional system: involved in the planning of actions and in producing multiple
actions that are performed relatively independent of each other.
•Hayling test, and Brixton test are used to test supervisory attentional system.
Where in the brain is working memory located?
•Phonological loop Broca's area, temporal lobes, left posterior parietal cortex, left premotor
area, left supplementary motor area. (left hemisphere)
•VSSP parietal lobes, (right hemisphere) right dorsolateral prefrontal areas, right premotor
areas, and right presupplementary motor areas.
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