PSYB57 Ch-6 4/2/2013 5:14:00 PM
Learning as prep for retrieval:
When learning, you are making connection between newly acquired information with
already present info in memory. These connections help because they make new
knowledge findable, in other words, makes retrieval paths
Context dependent learning: pattern of data in which material learned in one setting are well
remembered upon retrieval when returned to same settings
Learned material on dry land – retrieved better on land, less underwater
Learned material under water – remembered and retrieved better under water, than on
How this learning context influences data? When under water trying to learn
something, the diver must have felt cold and while learning, the connection must have
developed with the feeling of cold and shivering triggers, targeted to object in
memory. But if tested on land, person will not feel cold, hence cold-shivering
thoughts will not be triggered and no benefit from connections placed for retrieving
Same pattern if learning and test takes place in different rooms – just before testing,
people were urged to think about room in which they had learned, about what it
looked like, how it made them feel, etc. when tested, these people did just as good as
people whose room was not changed – upon building connections, psychological
context matters, not physical.
Context reinstatement – procedure in which someone is led to same mental and emotional state
as they were in time of learning – promotes accurate recall of events.
recall performance is best if state of learning matches as state of testing. Improved
memory performance if re-create the context that was in place during learning.
Context has its effects because it influences how you think about the materials to be
remembered, these these thoughts, perspective taken during learning and during test
that matters for memory, not the physical environment.
Retrieval cues –
Thinking about meaning at time of learning – best upon provided meaning-related
cues. Think about sound at time of learning – best upon provided sound-related cues.
i. Advantage of thinking about meaning – and type of hint also meaning related –
best results (44%)
ii. Advantage for matched learning and test conditions + type of hint also match
learning and test conditions = good (26%)
iii. Mix-match meaning and sound (learning/test-conditions) = fail
iv. Think about meaning at time of learning (with no clues) = 30% v. Think about sound at time of learning (with no clues) = 21%
when learning, context leaves behind traces. If no traces in memory, no way for a
return to context to influence people – memory keeps record of targeted (learned)
material and connections established during learning.
Memory connections can influence targeted information: can also change the meaning
of what’s remembered.
man lifted piano, man tuned piano. For retrieval, people who have seen word
“lifted” would better recall piano upon cue given as “something heavy”,
establishing connection for piano as something heavy. For people who read
the word “tuned” would better recall piano with cue “sounds nice” – piano as
something sounds nice.
How this works? By encoding specificity – tendency when memorizing to place both material to
be learned and context of material – these materials will then be recognized as familiar, only if
materials appear again in similar context.
Because when we read or remember something, we remember it as whole word and
not just parts. For ex. Shown word “other”. Now if someone ask you read word “the”,
would say no, or “her, he” etc. these words are parts that are contained within the
word “other” but because people learn as whole, not the parts. What was learned was
broader, not just the word.
Ch-5 – memory acquisition is learning, creating memory connection. Now these memory
connections are path retrievals. How does these path retrievals connect and work?
Memory is vast network of ideas. Networks are connected with
Nodes – individual unit in network, Local - represent single ideas and concepts;
Distributed – ideas or contents are represented by pattern of activation across wide
number of nodes.
Nodes are connected to other nodes via association/link – functional connections, linking
nodes with mental network, and detectors within detector – carriers of activation, from
one node/detector to other
Node becomes activated when it gets strong input signal – then activate other nodes
Nodes receive activation from its neighbor node and as more and more activation arrives
at particular node, it increases its activation level. Eventually that node reaches its
response threshold and that node fires. Firing has several effects:
o Node itself becomes activation center to other nodes, sending energy to its
neighbors and activating them. 2. It find a node within the network Sub-threshold activation – activation levels below response threshold, 2 sub-threshold
level inputs may add together or summate to bring the node to threshold
Node partially activated, has “warm-up” effect, reaches threshold faster and fires sooner
How does network of detectors work in object recognition?
Network linking memories to each other will resemble the networks linking detectors to each
other. Detectors like memory nodes – receive their activation from other detectors,
accumulate activation from different inputs-once have enough, then it fires
It spreads activation – process through which activation travels from one node to another via
associative links. As each node becomes activated, it serves as source for further activation
and keeps spreading like this onward in all directions
Why does hints help to remember things?
When we try to remember something, mentioning of word related to it cause thoughts, activate
nodes in memory that represent knowledge about it, spreading the activation of nodes outward.
But if there is weak connection between word that is given and word that is required, the required
word node will never be reach enough activation energy to reach its threshold and fire, word will
not be found. However with retrieval cue, it will activate the retrieval node, activation from this
node will spread its energy to required word node, therefore required word node will now receive
energy to reach its threshold from two different sources (one self knowledge and one from
retrieval) at the same time, and this energy will be enough to life the required word’s node
activation to threshold level, word will be found. In other words, question+hint accomplished
more than question itself
Why will memory retrieval be more useful in state which material is learned?
When learning something in certain state, it will bring certain thoughts to mind during learning
that material. Hence these thoughts will be associated with material learned. Asked about
“required word relating to learned material” will bring thoughts, activation will flow outwards
from nodes representing general thoughts about the learned material, nodes of required word will
receive some activation but not enough. However, being under same state as learning, will trigger
certain thoughts and nodes representing these thoughts may be linked to nodes representing
learned material – will receive activation from nodes representing thoughts and nodes bringing
thoughts learned under that state, double input will be activated, leading memory take advantage
of context reinstatement.
In short, memory cues & context reinstatement, insufficient activation from one source,
add insufficient activation received from another source, two can combine to achieve target. Semantic priming:
In lexical-decision task, participants were given words and had to click “yes” if they believed
word exists in their mental dictionary, otherwise, “no” – helped to use speed of response to show
how quickly they can locate the word – turned out, first word, semantically (meaningly) related
to second word; specific prior event (first word of pair) will produce a state of readiness and
hence faster response timing for following word (relates to repetition priming (ch-3).
- People have control over “starting point” for their memory searches, relying on process of