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Chapter 7.1

PSY100H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7.1: Baddeley'S Model Of Working Memory, Memory Consolidation, Biopsychosocial Model

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Michael Inzlicht

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Chapter 7: Module 7.1
Module 7.1 Memory Systems
- In 1981, a man (now known as K.C.) got into a motorcycle accident
- They took him to the hospital and he had some surgery
- His brain scans showed extensive damage to the:
o Medial temporal lobes
o Hippocampus
o Both frontal lobes
o Left occipital lobe
- When K.C. became conscious, he showed many memory problems
- Psychologists quickly realized that K.C. had retained some memory for general knowledge, but
he had lost his episodic memory
o Episodic memory: the memory of his specific experiences
- Basically, K.C. could recall the facts about his life (e.g. where he lived) but he could’t recall his
personal experiences or feelings that related to those facts (e.g. sitting on the steps with his
- This basically showed that e hae a diffeet kids of eo ad eo is’t a sigle
- We have different kinds of memory and each have their own networks in the brain
- This also kind of relates back to a philosophical question raised by William James: If you erase
all the memories of a person, will he/she still be the same person?
- Memory is a collection of several systems that store information in different forms for differing
amounts of time
The Atkinson-Shiffrin Model
- Created in the 1960s by Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin
- The model includes 3 memory stores
o Stores: retain information in memory without using it for any specific purpose
o Theyre kind of like hard drives
- The three stores are:
o Sensory memory
o Short-term memory (STM)
o Long-term memory (LTM)
- The model also includes control processes
o Control processes: shift information from one memory store to another
Represented in the model by arrows
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So how does all this work in the Atkinson-Shiffrin Model?
- Info enters the sensory memory store through vision, hearing, and other senses (no shit, that’s
why it’s alled sesory eory)
- Next, attention selects which information will be passed on to STM
o Attention: A control process that selects which information will be passed on to STM
- Some (not all) information in STM goes through encoding
o Encoding: the process of storing information in the LTM system
- Retrieval: brings information from LTM back into STM
- When does retrieval happen?
o When you become aware of existing memories like remembering the movie you saw
last week
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Sensory Memory
- Sensory Memory: is a memory store that accurately holds perceptual information for a very
brief amount of time
- How brief the info is held is subjective/depends on the sensory system that is used
o Iconic Memory: The visual form of sensory memory
Held for approx. 0.5-1.0 seconds
o Echoic Memory: The auditory form of sensory memory
Held for a little longer (approx. 5 seconds)
- Question: How much info can be held in sensory memory?
o Difficult to answer since sensory memories disappear faster than a person can report
o A very awesome method was created by George Sperling for testing the storage
capacity of iconic memory
Experimenters flashed a grid of letters on screen for a split second
Participants had to report what they saw
In the whole report condition, participants had to report as many letter as
They were generally only able to report 3-4 and the letters were usually
in the same line
o So then Sperling was like: does this mean that the iconic sensory memory can only store
3-4 bits of info at a time?
He believed that we had a larger capacity than 3-4 bits but hypothesized that
maybe the reason we can only report 3-4 bits of info is because the letters fade
away faster than we can actually report them
He wanted to test his hypothesis, so he created the partial report condition
So again, a set of letters were flashed but the display was immediately
followed by a tone that was randomly chosen to be low, medium, or
After hearing the tone, the participants had to report the corresponding
line of letters (bottom, middle, or top line)
The participants still only reported 3-4 letters, but they could report
them from any randomly selected line
So, because the tone came after the screen went blank, they could only
report the letters right if they recalled them from memory
Thus, Sperling concluded that iconic memory could hold all 12 letters as
a mental image, but that they would only stay in sensory memory long
enough for us to report only 3-4 letters (read page 272 again)
- But, if info in our sensory memory disappears after 0.5 seconds, then how can we have
continuous perceptions? THE ANSWER IS ATTENTION!!!!!!!!!!
o Attention allows us to move a small amount of the info from our sensory memory into
STM for further processing
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