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PSY100H1 Chapter Notes -Motor Learning, Sensory Memory, Binge Eating

Course Code
Ashley Waggoner Denton

of 20
Chapter 7
Attention: In order for something to potentially be remembered, it must be attended to in the first place
Attention is selective
It has to be selective because it is limited
Selective attention is adaptive
Change blindness: the common failure for people to notice large changes in their environment
Examples: Visual search tasks
Searching for one feature is fast and automatic (parallel processing)
The target will “pop out” at you
Searching for two (or more) features is slow and effortful (serial processing)
Must examine each target one-by-one
Selective listening
The cocktail party phenomenon
shadowing: A person listens to two different messages (one presented to the left ear, and one to the
right) and only attends to one of the messages (by repeating it aloud)
Generally have no conscious knowledge about the information being presented
to the other (unattended) ear
Models of Memory
The info processing model:
Encoding phase: Information is acquired and processed into a neural code that the brain can use
Storage phase: The retention of encoded information (whether it is for a second or a lifetime)
Retrieval phase: Recalling or remembering the stored information when we need it
Working memory
7 (plus or minus 2) (though some argue for less)
Chunking: Organizing information into meaningful units to make it easier to remember
o E.g., KFC CEO UBC PHD UTM (6 units) much easier to remember than KFCCEOUBCPHDUTM (15 units)
The working memory system has 4 components:
Phonological loop: Auditory information
Visuospatial sketchpad: Visual and spatial information
Episodic buffer: Information about oneself
Central executive: Coordinates information between each component as well as long-term memory
Working memory vs long term memory
Serial position effect: The ability to recall items from a list depend on the order of presentation
Primacy effect: Better memory for items presented at the beginning of the list
Recency effect: Better memory for items presented at the end of the list
Maintenance rehearsal: Simply repeating the item over and over again
Elaborative rehearsal: Involves encoding the information in more meaningful ways
o Linking it to knowledge in long-term memory
Sensory memory: Memory
for sensory information that
lasts only a fraction of a
second. We are not usually
even aware of it.
Short-term or Working memory:
Memory that will remain for only about 20-
30 seconds, unless you actively think
about or rehearse it
E.g., remembering a phone
number or licence plate
Long-term memory: The relatively
permanent storage of information
Differs from working memory in
terms of both duration and
It’s easy to see that not all long-
term memories are the same!
Although scientists do not agree on
Long term Memory
Take a moment to remember:
A TV commercial from your childhood
The capital of France
What you did on your last birthday
How you tie your shoes
Explicit memory: The processes involved when people remember specific information information that we
are consciously aware of
Declarative memory: Knowledge that can be declared
Types: episodic memory: Memory of your personal past experiences that includes information about
the time and place the experiences occurred
E.g., What you did on your last birthday
Semantic memory: Memory for knowledge about the world things that you know, even though you
may not remember where or when you learned it
E.g., The capital of France
Implicit memory: The system underlying unconscious memories memories we acquire without awareness
or intention and do not even know that we know
Types of implicit memory
Classical conditioning
E.g., Knowing that certain music is associated with bad things
Repetition priming
Improvement in identifying or processing a stimulus that has been experienced previously
E.g., Complete the word: ___ory
Procedural memory
Motor skills, habits, and other behaviours that we remember how to do without thinking about it
Clive Wearing
Other Types of Memory
prospective memory: Remembering to do something in the future
May be automatically activated by a cue in the environment (seeing your neighbour’s trash bin)
May also involve controlled processes (“take out the trash, take out the trash, take out the trash…”)
Memories are not a recording, it is a construction, mental representations, stored in networks of neurons in the brain
Long term memory: information organization
Association networks
Schemas: Hypothetical cognitive structures that help us perceive, organize, process, and use information
retrieval cue: Anything that helps someone recall information from memory
Could be a word, a sight, a smell…
Encoding specificity principle: Any stimulus that is encoded along with an experience can later trigger
memory for the experience
Context dependent memory: Memory enhancement that occurs when the recall situation is similar to the
encoding situation
May be similar in terms of physical location, background music, odours, etc.
Ie/ Scuba divers learning a list of words either underwater or on land (and then recalling the words
either underwater or on land)
Scuba divers learning a list of words either underwater or on land (and then recalling the words either
underwater or on land) (Godden & Baddeley, 1975)
Learning a list of words with instrumental background music or white noise (and then recalling the
words while the same instrumental music or white noise played) (Smith, 1985)
Revisiting a childhood home or school can bring back a “flood” of memories (Baddeley et al., 2009)
Mentally visualizing the encoding environment can also work (Smith & Vela, 2001)
Stress can interfere with context-dependent memory
State dependent memory: Memory enhancement that occurs when one’s internal state during the recall
situation is similar to the encoding situation
The Biology of Memory
Memories are stored in multiple regions of the brain and linked through memory circuits
Different memory systems use different brain regions
Medial temporal lobes: Important for the consolidation of new declarative memories
Responsible for coordinating and strengthening the connections among neurons when something is
learned (but not the storage of memories)
E.g., Patient H.M., Clive Wearing
Reconsolidation occurs every time a memory is activated may differ from the original memory
Hippocampus: Particularly important for spatial memory memory for the physical environment (location of
objects, direction, cognitive maps)
Rats and the Morris Water Maze
Frontal lobes: Crucial for encoding, and involved in many aspects of memory
E.g., Working memory
Amygdala: Memory of emotional events
E.g., People who were in downtown Manhattan on 9/11
Cerebellum: Procedural memory
E.g., motor learning, eyeblink conditioning
Memory modulators: Neurotransmitters that weaken or enhance memory
E.g., Epinephrine, norepinephrine activity in the amygdala
Transience: The pattern of forgetting over time
Most forgetting occurs because of interference:
proactive interference: When prior information inhibits the ability to remember new information
E.g., Memory of your old phone number interfering with your ability to remember your new
phone number
retroactive interference: When new information inhibits the ability to remember old information
E.g., Memory of your current postal code interfering with your ability to remember your old
postal code
Blocking: The temporary inability to remember something that is known
The tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon
Absentmindedness: Forgetting due to shallow encoding or failing to pay attention
Memory Distortion
Misattribution: Misremembering the time, place, person, or circumstances involved with a memory
E.g., Thinking you told your friend something when you didn’t (e.g., you just imagined telling them, or
you told another friend)
Suggestibility: Misremembering after being told misleading information
E.g., “How fast were the cars going when they ________ into each other?”
False memories can be surprisingly easy to plant
E.g., Remember the time you got lost in the mall?
Eye Witness Testimony
Witnessing a Crime
It is very difficult to distinguish an accurate eyewitness from an inaccurate one
Confidence is unrelated to accuracy
Just because someone is very confident in their account of a crime does not mean that they are
remembering correctly