Chapter 7: Memory

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9 Apr 2012
Chapter 7- Memory
Module 7.1 Types of Memories
What is Memory?
o Learning: a relatively permanent change in behaviour as a function of experience; demonstrated
as a change in behaviours due to experience showing that they remember those experiences
o Experience-dependent behaviour: learning and memory
o Learning: concerned with attending to information (encoding it) and storing it for later use
o Memory: concerned with retrieving stored information
Problems in: encoding consolidation or retrieval of information will impair function
Sensory Memory and Short-term Memory
o Sensory memories
Iconic memory: visually based
Measured using a tachistoscope
Can direct your memory to particular feature ex. Line of letters after the line is gone
indicating that have memory of it all for a short period of time
Reading from a decaying trace
Very fragile and can be erased with a bright light
Colour motion and shape can be stored in iconic memory
Two sides of brain perform task equally well
Echoic memory: sound based
Fragile and temporary
Echoic memory trace is much stronger immediately after the perception of a sound
o Short term memory: responsible for holding information for periods beyond what can be stored
by sensory
Is not permanent; lasts a few seconds
Can be any sensory modality
Short term visual memory: hold info longer than iconic memory
Short-term auditory memory: double take effect (replaying comments to understand them)
Can hold about 7 units of information
Chunking information: allows more information to be held
Brown Peterson design: when have to remember three random numbers and three random
letters and then do distractor task they remember few of the letters
Retroactive interference: inferred when the learning of new material interferes with
recall of previously learned material
Proactive interference: when new learning is disrupted by previously learned material
Trace discrimination theory: short term memories begin to degrade spontaneously
over time and retrieval of short term memory requires that the info be distinct from
other pieces of stored information
Working Memory
o Contains information that is going to be acted upon or used in some fashion
o Does not have to come from environment can be info retrieved from long term memory
o Can be held for relatively long time
o Baddeleys model of Working Memory
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Phonological Loop
Responsible for manipulation of linguistic information
Properties are best understood
Consists of phonological store (can hold linguistic info for <2s unless refreshed by
inner speech) and controller for inner speech/articulatory control process (used to
convert non verbal info to phonological sound of language)
Dual task paradigm: perform relevant and irrelevant task at the same time
Articulatory suppression: disruption in performance of primary task perhaps due
to limited store of phonological loop some of which is being taken up by the
irrelevant task
Effects only when secondary task requires resources of phonological story or
articulatory control process (ex. Not tracing)
Phonological store: can store number of sounds that can be made in 2 secs
Homophones: words that make the same sound but are spelt differently ex. Wood
and would
Perform less as visual properties of word is what needs to be remembered and
that is not encoded very well in phonological loop
The Visuospatial Sketchpad
Responsible for manipulation of visuospatial images
Two aspects: one responsible for mental imagery and one for spatial information
Info can come from environment or from mental imagery
Limited store and can be affected by performance of secondary irrelevant task
Mental imagery does not require visual system (blind people can do it)
Storage and manipulation of spatial information
The Central Executive
Central executive: for controlling attention and supervising two slave subsystems;
integration of information and strategy selection (verbal or spatial?)
Hard to study as it is so involved with 2 slave subsystems
It must decide how to solve, allocate resources and assess information coming in
Must be able to multitask apportion resources and rapidly switch strategies
Ex. Which keys belong to which door, walking to class thinking about something else,
driving and talking
Supervisory attentional system
Haying test: participants given sentence with the last word missing; first with
meaningful word (automatic) then with word that makes no sense (novel)
Using central executive
Brixton test: plate with 10 dots and one coloured dot that moves according to rule;
have to us VSSP and CE
Where in the Brain is Working Memory Located?
Phonological loop: LH, brocas area, temporal lobes, left premotor area, left
supplementary motor area; planning and production of speech
Phonological store: left posterior parietal area damage conduction aphasia (cant
repeat material)
Visuospatial Sketchpad: RH; right dorsolateral prefrontal areas, right premotor and
right presupplementary motor areas
Central executive: activation of frontal areas
Long-term Memory
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