Chapter 7 reading
PSY270 Lecture 6
Long Term Memory: Encoding and Retrieval
-Main factor that determines retrieval of information from LTM is the way information was encoded when you learned it.
Rehearsal: repeating info over and over
-does not guarantee information from STM to be transferred to LTM.
-Maintenance rehearsal: maintains information in STM/WM but not an effective way of transferring information into LTM
(eg. repeating a phone number)
-Elaborative rehearsal: more effective at transferring information into LTM. Occurs when you think about meaning of an
item or make connections between the item and your knowledge.
Level of processing theory: Levels-of-processing theory: memory depends on how information is encoded. With deeper
processing results better encoding and retrieval than shallow processing.
-Craik & Lockhart
oWord list experiment
Count vowels, count backwards in 3s
Visualize how you would use item on island, then count back in 3s
Found that memory is superior when meaningful connection is made.
oMemory depends on the depth of processing that an items receives.
Shallow: little attention to meaning – attention is focused on physical features, used in maintenance
Deep: close attention, focus on meaning and relate to something else.
-Craik & Tulving: shows how depth of processing can be varied by asking different questions
oShallow: asked questions about physical characteristics (eg. capital letter?)
oDeep: asking about words sound (eg. rhyme)
oDeepest: task involving word’s meaning (eg. fill in the blanks)
oThen given memory test to see how well recalled words
-Desert island or fill in blanks = deeper processing? Desert island.
oCircular reasoning: occurs because depth of processing not defined independently of memory performance.
Cannot use memory performance to determine depth of processing.
Memory is better following desert island task, thus includes deeper processing, thus memory will be
better following the desert island task.
-Hard to define depth of processing independently of memory performance.
Research showing that encoding influences retrieval
1) placing words in complex sentence
a.Craik & Tulving: memory for word better when presented in a complex sentence. Complex sentences create
more connections between word to be remembered and other things – acts as a cue to help retrieval.
2) forming visual images
a.Bower & Winzenz: visual imagery connect words to improve memory?
i.Paired-associate learning procedure, where list of word pairs presented. Then first word is presented
and asked what it was paired with.
ii.One group: silently repeat, another to form images
iii.Image group remembered more than twice as many words
3) linking words to yourself
a.self-reference effect: memory better if relate a word to yourself
i.Rogers et al: used same experiment as Craik & Tulving’s depth of processing.
1. Physical characteristics, rhyming, meaning, self-reference
2. More likely to remember words describing themselves.
4) generating information
a.Slameka & Graf: demonatrated generation effect
b. Participants study list of word pairs - read / generate group (fill in blank)
PSY270 Lecture 6
c.Then presented first word and asked for second.
d. Generate word able to reproduce 28% more
5) organizing information
a.Jenkins & Russell: Participants spontaneously organize items as they recall them
b. Remember words in categories – retrieval cue.
c.Bowel et al: presented material to be learned in an “organizational tree”
i.Participants tend to organize same way tree were.
ii.If organized randomly, remembered less.
d. Bransford & Johnson: showed passage & picture
i.Remember better if seen picture – provides mental framework to create a meaningful story.
6) Testing: testing of material results in better memory than rereading.
a.Roediger & Karpicke: read prose passages for 7 mins, then 2 min solve math problems. One group took 7 min
recall test and asked to write down as much as remembered. Other given 7 mins to reread.
i.After a certain delay, asked to write what they remembered.
ii.Showed little difference between rereading and testing group after 5 min delay
iii.Performance of testing group better after delay due to “testing effect”
b. Actively creating material, increase richness of representation in memory by providing connections between
material to be remembered and own memory.
Retrieval: getting information out of memory
Retrieval cues: words/stimuli that help us remember info in our memory. (eg. location, smell, song)
-Cued recall: participants presented with retrieval cues to aid in recall
-Free recall: remember whatever they can.
-Tulving & Pearlstone: retrieval cues aid memory.
-Mantyla: presented participants with 600 nouns and told participants to write down 3 words associated with each noun.
Able to remember 90% of 600 words.
oRetrieval cues provide extremely effective information for retrieving memories – significantly more effective
when created by person whose memory is being tested.
Matching conditions of encoding and retrieval
-retrieval can be increased by matching the conditions at retrieval to the conditions that existed at encoding.
oEg. returning to a specific location (office) to remember what you forgot
-Encoding specificity: we encode information along with its context.
oGodden & Baddeley: “diving experiment”
One group puts on equipment and learns words underwater.
Another study words on land
Best recall occurred when encoding and retrieval occurred in same location
oGood strategy for test taking would be to study in an environment similar to test.
-State dependent learning: learning associated with particular internal state (eg. mood, state of awareness).
oEich & Metcalfe: memory better when person’s internal state during retrieval matches internal state when
Asked to think positive thoughts listening to merry music/ depressing – melancholic music.
Presented list of words, then delay and put in certain mood condition
Recalled better when in same mood
-Transfer-appropriate processing: memory is enhanced if type of task at encoding matches type of task at retrieval
-Morris et al: experiment with two parts – encoding and retrieval
meaning condition – focus on meaning
Rhyming condition – focus on sound
Both conditions heard sentence with one word replaced by “blank” then 2 seconds later heard target
word. Asked “yes”/”no” based on meaning of sentence or rhyme.
oRetrieval – both groups given rhyming recognition test and indicate whether each word presented during
retrieval rhymed with target words.
PSY270 Lecture 6
oParticipants in rhyming group during encoding remembered more words than participants in meaning group.
oThis is because they experienced the same type of task (rhyming) during encoding and retrieval.
oShowed that deeper processing at encoding does not always result in better retrieval (as LOP proposes)
oMatching encoding and retrieval tasks results in better retrieval.
How to study more effectively
a.This helps transfer material reading into LTM. Thinking about what you are reading and giving it meaning.
b. Techniques based on association (creating images) prove useful for learning words or definitions.
2) Generate and test
a.Generation: Creating situations which it is necessary to take in active role in creating material is a powerful way
to strongly encode and good LT retrieval.
i.Eg. when you explain material, talking aloud.
b. Testing: form of generation, requires active involvement with the material.
i.Testing after reading material is more effective way to strengthen encoding and retrieval than rereading.
ii.Indicates what you know and increases your ability to remember what you know later
a.Reduces load on memory – relates to chunking.
b. Makes material more meaningful and strengthens encoding
4) Take breaks
a.Spacing effect: memory is better when broken into short sessions with breaks in between.
b. Support: the experiment where memory performance is enhanced if sleep follows learning.
5) Match learning and testing conditions
a.When study (encoding) and testing (retrieval) conditions match as closely as possible.
b. Research shows people remember material better when learned in number of different locations – prevents
learning from being associated with one place.
6) Avoid “illusions of learning”
a.Rereading creates the illusion of learning, because it results in greater fluency and familiarity.
Memory and the brain
Experiences causes changes at the synapse (gap between end of neuron and cellbody/dendrite of another neuron). When signals
reach end of neuron, causes neurotransmitters to be released to next neuron.
-Hebb: learning and memory are represented in the brain by physiological changes that take place at the synapse.
oActivity of neuron signals happening strengthens synapse by causing structural changes, greater transmitter
release and increased firing.
oSynaptic changes provide a record of experiences
oLong Term Potentiation (LTP) – enhanced firing of neurons after repeated stimulation. Shows that repeated
stimulation causes structural changes and enhanced responding.
oMemories for an experience can cause changes at the synapse.
oParticular experience probably represented by pattern of firing across this group of neurons – like distributed
Where does memory occur in the brain?
-Frontal corext: important for working memory
-Medial Temporal lobe (MTL):
othe hippocampus (one structure in MTL) is crucial for forming new LTMs.
Davachi et al: determine how structures responded as names of objects presenting in encoding part of
Used brain scanner, participants to create image with word.
Found participants remembered 54% of old words.