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Chapter 7-8

PSYA01H3: Chapter 7-8

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Steve Joordens

Chapter 7.1: Memory Systems  1960’s-> Richard Atkinson & Richard Schifrin -> constructed memory model; 3 memory stores o Stores: retain info in memory without using it for any specific purpose  Serve same purpose as hard drives serve for computers 1. Sensory memory 2. Short-term memory (STM) 3. Long-term memory (LTM) o Control processes: shift information from one memory store to another  Represented by arrows in model  Info enters sensory memory store through vision, hearing, & other senses & control process (attention selects=> selects which info it will pass onto STM) o Some info in STM goes through encoding: process of storing information in the LTM system  Process of transforming sensory/ perceptual info into memory traces o Retrieval: brings info from the LTM back into STM  Happens when you become aware of existing memories (what you did last week)  Process of memorized info & returning it to STM  Sensory memory: memory store that accurately holds perceptual information for a very brief amount of time o How brief=> depends on which sensory system o Holds iconic memory => visual form of sensory memory for about ½ to 1 second o Echoic memory=> auditory form of sensory memory=> considerably longer but still only about 5 seconds o Very precise measurements needed=> identify sensory memory because it disappears faster than individual can report anything that it can hold o To detect iconic memory=> comparing two conditions in memory experiment 1. Whole report a. Researchers flash a grid on letters on screen for a split second & participants attempt to recall as many as possible – the whole screen b. George Sperling =>developed these techniques, hypothesized that memory of letters actually faded faster than participants could report them & devised partial report condition to test assumption 2. Partial report a. Researchers again flash a set of letters on screen, but display is followed immediately by a tone that is randomly chosen to be low, medium or high b. After hearing tone => participants are to report corresponding line- bottom, middle or top c. Because tone comes after screen goes blank => only way the participants could get the letters right is if they recalled them from memory d. Sperling argued => iconic memory could hold all 12 letters as mental image o Sensory memory=> hold info long enough for us to determine what to pay attention to (first control process in Atkinson- Schifrin model) o If not for iconic sensory memory=> visual experience (everything would appear to be series of isolated & still images) o Iconic sensory memory => holds images long enough to provide smooth, continuous perceptions o Echoic memory => experienced the “What? Oh!” phenomenon  Sperling’s research identified very brief memory system => may have never noticed until you had o After we pay attention to specific stimuli in sensory memory, selected info moves into two types of longer- lasting memory systems- short term & long term memory stores  A major distinction in memory systems is between: o Short-term memory (STM): memory store with limited capacity & duration (less than a min) o Long-term memory (LTM): memory store that holds info for extended periods of time, if not permanently o Distinction => revealed with simple experiment  Imagine everyone in psychology class studied a list of 15 words & immediately tried to recall words on list  Serial position curve- U shaped graph shows what results would look like according to serial position effect: In general, most people will recall the first few items from a list and the last few items but only an item or two from the middle o True for many types of info (e.g. simple strings of letters to ads after watching Super Bowl)  First few items remembered easily (a.k.a primacy effect) => began process of entering LTM o Begin to produce proactive interference: first info learned (e.g in a list of words) occupies memory, leaving fewer resources left to remember the newer info  Still remember last few items (STM) => pattern referred to as recency effect  Create => retroactive interference: most recently learned info overshadows some older memories that have not yet made it into long-term memory  Evidence from serial position curve => STM & LTM distinct systems  Deborah Talmi & colleagues (2005) o Asked 10 volunteers to undergo memory testing during fMRI brain scans => asked to study a list of 12 words presented one at a time on computer screen => when volunteers remembered info from early in the serial position curve, the hippocampus was active (area associated with formation of LTM) o By comparison brain areas associated with sensory info- hearing/ seeing words => more active when people recalled items at the end of serial position curve o Researchers believed they have isolated effects of 2 diff neural systems => working simultaneously => produce serial position curve  Brain scans show that recently encountered items are processed in one area of brain, whereas older items are stored in diff area => concept: multiple memory stores  Rehearsal: or repeating info (e.g. remembering a number) until you do not need to remember it anymore o Memory is now viewed as a complex system involving several processes  Working memory: model of short-term remembering that includes a combo of memory components that can temp store small amounts of info for a short period of time o Instead of just being just a “place” like short term storage, it also includes the operations and processes we use to work with info in short term storage o Include subsystems that store and manipulate visual images or verbal info, as well as central executive that coordinates subsystems o Plays important role in many aspects of cognitive life o Central executive component of working memory depends on regions within the frontal lobe that are important to controlling and manipulating info on a wide range of cognitive tasks o Subdivided into three storage components:  Phonological loop: storage component of working memory => relies on rehearsal & stores info as sounds/ auditory code  Engages portions of brain that specialize in speech/ hearing & very active without affecting memory for visual/ special info  Visuospatial sketchpad: storage component of working memory => maintains visual images & special layouts in visuospatial code  Up-to-date on where objects are around you & where you intend to go o Engages portions of brain related to perception of vision & space & does not affect memory for sounds  Episodic buffer: storage component of working memory that combines images & sounds from other 2 components into coherent, story-like episodes  Relevant info to make sense of images & sounds, “I was driving to friend’s house, when I heard the radio DJ give a number to call”  Not primarily used for storing info => central executive: control center of working memory; it coordinates attention & exchange of info among 3 storage components  Seeking out what’s relevant to person’s goals/ interests & prior knowledge  Regions within frontal lobes of brain => responsible for carrying out these tasks for central executive o Central executive => watch traffic, now listen to radio, now watch traffic, call that number!  Phonological loop => repeating to self (1-800-555- HITS)  Episodic buffer => understanding the context, blending info (I need to pass this car so I can pull over & find my phone to call that number- quick!)  Visuospatial sketchpad => understanding the flow of traffic  Capacity of short-term memory span => The Magical Number 7 +/- 2 (“About seven”) o Miller found participants were able to remember 7 units of info o STM can rehearse only 7 units of info at once before forgetting something  Chunking: organizing smaller units of info into larger, more meaningful units o NBCHBOCBSABCCNN  NBC HBO CBS ABC CNN => chunking reduces 15 bits of info to 5  Research indicates working memory can store as many syllables as can be rehearsed in about 2 seconds  Brown-Peterson test => technique for measuring duration of working memory o Relies on two main elements: 1) Meaningless stimuli 2) Interference o When psychologists ask research participants to remember combo of letters (TJD), why might they have participants engage in distracting tasks such as counting backward by 3’s?  Counting backward prevents rehearsal, so researchers can see how long an unrehearsed memory trace will last  Nick can remember far more than 7 letters if he combines letters using strategy=> chunking Long- Term Memory Systems: Declarative & Nondeclarative  Declarative memories: are memories that we are consciously aware of and can be verbalized, including facts about the world and one’s own personal experiences o Memories you are aware of =>knowing that you had breakfast this morning  Nondeclarative memories: includes actions or behaviors that you can remember and perform without awareness o Procedural memories: patterns of muscle movements (motor memory) => how to walk/ play piano/ shift gears when driving o Classical conditioning => another type of nondeclarative memory (people can be classically conditioned without awareness)  Declarative/ nondeclarative =>distinct types of memory => but both involved in same day- to-day events o You might know how to ride a bike => example of a nondeclarative procedural memory, but knowing that bikes are two-wheeled vehicles is declarative memory  Episodic memories: are declarative memories for personal experiences that seem to be organized around episodes and are called from a first person (“I” or “my”) perspective o Child playing piano may have episodic memories of specific piano lessons, semantic memories about what a piano is, & how it works & procedural memories about how to play a few songs  Semantic memories: are declarative memories that include facts about the world o Nonfiction reference books in memory library o Sematic memory is knowledge of what a bike is, whereas episodic memory is memory of when you first (or last) rode a bike, a specific rude that was enjoyable to you or the time you rode into a fence o Scientific evidence that sematic/ episodic memories are distinct  Older people are more likely to forget where they went on vacation 5 years ago than they are to forget something like the names of state capitals  Reported an extremely rare form of memory loss in which a young, otherwise healthy person lost episodic memory, yet this sematic memory store remained intact (Tulving & Markoswitch) o Distinction helps better understand how memories break down following brain trauma/ conditions =>Alzheimer’s disease  Memories for info that was learned without our being aware of it is known as nondeclarative memories  Memories that can be verbalized, whether they are about your own experiences/ knowledge about world are called declarative memories  Mary suffered a head injury during car accident & knocked unconscious => when waken in hospital she could tell she was in hospital room & recognized her sister but she had no idea why she was in the hospital or how she got there o Memory system that is affected in Mary’s case is episodic memories  At neural level, memory formation begins with long-term potentiation o Long Term Potentiation (LTP): means that there is an enduring increase in connectivity and transmission of neural signals between nerve cells that fire together  Underlies permanent changes that occur across numerous brain cells as memories are forming, strengthening & being stored  It plays an important role in long-term memory storage  Discovery of LTP occurred when researchers electrically stimulated two neurons in rabbits hippocampus  Key memory structure of brain located in an area called medial temporal lobes  Stimulation to hippocampus increased the number of electrical potentials from one neuron to another => soon neurons began to generate stronger signals than before => last up to a few hours  Consolidation: that process of converting short term memories into long term memories in the brain o Happen at level of small neuronal groups/ across the cortex o When LTP continues long enough/ even better => neurons will adapt & make changes more permanent – cellular consolidation  Without consolidation process, LTP eventually fades away & memory  E.g. Lab rats => drug that lowered LTP, but prevented consolidation from occurring (by blocking biochemical actions) => animals able to learn a task for brie period of time, but not able to form long term memories  Long term declarative memories distributed throughout cortex of brain rather than being localized in one region => cross-cortical storage o Long term memory storage of declarative memories requires a critical phase of consolidation that takes place => hippocampus o Hippocampus=> not where most declarative memories are actually stored => still key to consolidation process o Without functioning hippocampus => difficult to form new long term memories  E.g. lab animals with experimental in learning & remembering spatial info o Activity of hippocampus during encoding => part of second level of consolidation => systems consolidation  Hippocampus maintains LTP until acquired behavior can form multiple connections throughout cortex  Once memory traces formed in cortex => memory distributed in entire network of cells  If individual experiences damage to hippocampus => less likely to lose long term memories that have been consolidated o Long term memories do not just collect dust after formed  Updated regularly (when someone reminds you of an event years ago)  Called reconsolidation => hippocampus functions to update, strengthen/ modify existing long term memories [  With binge drinking (4/5 drinks in one sitting)=> effects on hippocampus=> may experience blackouts =>a.k.a. en bloc memory loss o No recollection of what happened while they were intoxicated, yet show no effects on those memories that have already formed prior to blackout  Amnesia: a profound loss of at least one form of memory  Anterograde amnesia: the inability to form new memories for events occurring after a brain injury o Blocks new memories from forming o Most severe for recent events => further back a person tries to recall; more likely individual is to retrieve events from relatively distant past  Alzheimer’s disease  Person who experienced head injury during traffic accident may not remember events leading up to moment, yet have normal memory for events from week/ month before o Involve a problem with transfer from St to LT memory => disconnect occurs between ST & LT storage  Individuals can retain intelligence & memories for events leading up to the brain damage, so some aspects of retrieval ability seem to work correctly  Cognitive neuroscience tells us that working memory uses regions of brain involved in sensation/ perception/ attention => areas most likely intact  Problem? Consolidation => damage to hippocampus is likely to produce anterograde amnesia o Man called H.M => surgeons removed his right/ left hippocampus to relieve from problems with seizures  Anterograde amnesia seems to affect declarative memory more so than nondeclarative memory => affects episodic memories more than semantic memories  Retrograde amnesia – a condition in which memory for the events preceding trauma or injury is lost o Reflects problems with existing memories o In reality=> many less severe retrograde amnesias likely disrupt consolidation that is already in process  When memories move from ST to LT => transferred into cross- cortical storage through a consolidation process  If disrupted by damage- for e.g. consumption of too much alcohol in single sitting => any events currently undergoing this consolidation process will be lost  Older events have already moved into cross-cortical storage => more resistant to these effects Chapter 7.2: Encoding and Retrieving Memories  Storage: the time and manner in which information is retained between encoding and retrieval  Common sense => keys to encoding: 1. Rehearsing & repeating info 2. Intentionally trying to remember that info o This type of memorization is known as rehearsal => teachers may call is learning by rote  Maintenance Rehearsal: prolonging exposure to information by repeating it o Very little to facilitate encoding that leads to formation of long-term memories  Elaborative Rehearsal – prolonging exposure to information by thinking about its meaning o Significantly improves process of encoding  E.g. repeating word “bottle” and imaging what a bottle looks like/ what its used for  Elaborative/ maintenance rehearsal strategies indicate =>more meaningful we make info as we learn it, more likely we are to remember it  Diff ways in which info is encoded & retrieved can be understood by => levels of processing (LOP) o Begins with understanding that encoding is more directly related to how info is initially processed o Less important=> how often the info is encountered or how long one is exposed o Diff in processing can be described as continuum from shallow processing (similar to maintenance rehearsal) to deep processing (more similar to elaborative rehearsal) o Deep processing => generally preferred method of encoding info; associated with better retention & retrieval  According to LOP framework, how well we encode long-term info is most related to how deeply we process the info  Self-reference effect: When you think about info as it related to you/ how its useful to you, you will remember it better  Survival processing: Less intuitive => items are processed as they relate to survival, more likely to be recalled  Encoding Specificity principle: predicts that retrieval is most effective when it occurs in the same context as encoding o Internal factors (your mood, level of activity) o External factors (characteristics of the room you are in) 1. Context-Dependent Learning a. Retrieval => more effective when it takes place in physical setting (context) 2. State-Dependent Learning a. Retrieval => more effective when internal conditions- such as heart rate/ arousal (psychological state)- match those experienced during encoding 3. Mood-Dependent Learning a. People remember better if their mood at retrieval matches their mood during encoding o Context-dependent forgetting: if we believe the change in environment influenced the forgetting o Context reinstatement effect: occurs when you return to the original location & memory suddenly comes back  The time & manner in which info is retained between encoding & retrieval => storage  Prolonging exposure to info by repeating it to oneself => maintenance rehearsal  According to levels of processing approach to memory, thinking about synonym on one method of deep processing that should increase memory for that term  If you’re learning vocab for exam => better off using elaborative rehearsal technique  When taking math exam, concept of context-dependent learning would indicated that you would do best if you took the exam in same psychical setting as setting where you learned the material  The importance of emotion in memory formation => confirmed in numerous lab studies o Emotions can lead to stronger memory formation even if info is not directly related to emotional event o Link between emotions & memory has biological roots in limbic system  Limbic system => hippocampus (structure associated with the encoding of long term memories and the amygdala (two small structures involved in emotional processing and responding)  Brain imaging shows emotional memories often activate the amygdala but non emotional memories generated at same time do not  Flashbulb memory:
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