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PSY270 Lecture 6
Long-Term Memory: Structure
Koraskoff’s syndrome: condition caused by vitamin B1 deficiency, usually as a result of chronic
alcoholism – causes severe and permanent impairments to frontal/temporal lobes -> memory
Anterograde amnesia: loss of ability to assimilate/retain new knowledge
Retrograde amnesia: loss of memory for events that happened in the past.
Long-term Memory (LTM): system responsible for storing information for long periods of time.
long and very large
STM/WM is very short and very limited.
LTM helps add to understanding and interpretation.
Provides an archive for reference and background information we consult as we use our working
memory to make contact with a particular moment.
Murdoch: serial position experiment
read 15 words at rate of 2 seconds, asked person to write all words remembered in order.
Function: serial position curve.
oMemory is better for words at the beginning of the list and at the end
oPrimacy effect: time to rehearse and transfer to LTM.
oRecency effect: most recently presented words are still in the STM.
Encoding in LTM: involves auditory, visual and semantic coding (like STM).
semantic coding is the predominant type of coding.
oIllustrated by kinds of errors people make in tasks involving LTM.
Misremember “tree” as “bush” indicates meaning of word (instead of visual
appearance or sound) was registered in LTM.
Sachs: recognition memory
identification of stimulus encountered earlier.
Procedure is to present a stimulus during a study period and later present this stimulus with other
oEg. initial: house. Then house + table + money.
Task: answer “yes” if word was presented previously or not.
Not recall task (not fill in the blanks) but asked to recognize if item was present.
•participants read passage and indicate which sentence identical to passage and which were
•Participants remembered the meaning and not exact wording. Specific wording is forgotten but
general meaning can be remembered.
Location of STM/LTM in brain
d o u ble dissociati o n: some h ave p o o r STM, b u t functio nin g LTM or vic e v ers a .
oSTM an d LTM op erate ind epen d ently an d are s erved by different me c hanisms.
oEg. Clive: h ad STM b ut n o LTM
oEg. H.M: h ad STM b u t no LTM d u e to remov al of hippoc a mp u s o n both side s of b rain
Sh owed p o s sible los e ability to form LTM while retainin g STM.
STM an d LTM are c a us e d by different me c hanisms which c a n a c t ind epen d ently.
Brain Imagin g:
Talmi et al: me a s ured fMRI to ta sks involving STM & LTM
oPre s e nted list of words, then a “pro b e ” – b eginning, en d, or n o t p re s e nted
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