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Chapter 7

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Dan Dolderman

Chapter 7 Notes – Attention and Memory PART 1 - imagine not knowing what you did yesterday, or the experiences you encountered - research – H.M had severe seizures and was brought into surgery, and they removed his temporal lobe, but this had a severe side effect of long term memory loss - Memory – is the nervous systems capacity to acquire and retain usable skills and knowledge, allowing organisms to benefit from experience - Each person stores and retrieves memories of the event distinctively - Memories are stories that can be altered subtly through telling and retelling - How does attention determine what is remembered? - Look and listen are commands that tell you where to direct your attention - Attention – ability to direct something in ourselves - Attention is limited, and when it is divided among too many tasks or if the tasks are difficult, performance suffers - Its more productive if they focused on one thing at a time - Attention is important to your ability to function in your daily life - Basic principles of how the human attention works : - Visual attention is selective and serial: - British psychologist Anne Treisman- came up with theory about attention and recognition, that we automatically identify as “primitive features” such as colour, shape, orientation and movement within an environment - Separate systems analyze objects different visual features - Through parallel processing- these systems all process information at the same time, and we can attend selectively to one feature by effectively blocking the further processing of the other - She did a visual search task ( also called feature search tasks ) = participants look at a display of different objects on a computer screen, searching for targets, while the others were called distractors - The targets seem to pop out immediately and the distractors are left out (parallel processing) - Colour, motion and orientation and size are factors of the target that attract the eyes of the readers - Searching for two features is serial (look at stimuli one at a time) and effortful ( takes longer and more attention) - Conjunction task – what you’re looking for is made up of two simple features - Auditory attention allows selective listening: - Attention is limited, so hard to perform two tasks at the same time, especially if they rely on the same mechanisms - i.e. driving and listening to music is multitasking, but if a sudden brake is required, you stop everything and direct your attention to the car in front of you - research shows talking on a phone while driving is more hazardous than talking to a passenger beside you, because a cellphone conversation will not vary naturally with the driving conditions, because the person talking to the person driving, will not know what is happening, so the driver needs to stop talking on the phone and direct their attention on driving fully - hands free cellphones don’t solve the problem when drivers have to divide their attentional resources among multiple tasks - psychologist cherry - cocktail party phenomenon – you can focus on a single conversation in the midst of a chaotic cocktail party, yet a particularly pertinent stimulus such as hearing your name mentioned in another conversation or hearing a juicy piece of gossip can capture and divert your attention - while proximity and loudness can also influence what you will attend to, your selective attention can also determine which conversation you will hear ( I.e. at restaurant with friend but listening to what the people on a nearby table are saying) - he also developed selective – listening studies to examine what peoples mind do with unattended information when people pay attention to one task - shadowing – a participant wears headphones that deliver one message to one ear and a different message to the other. - The person would be asked to attend to one of the two messages and ‘shadow’ it by repeating it out loud - The subject will notice the other message from the other ear but won’t pay attention to it - However what if you heard your name? Would you direct your attention to that ? - Some important information gets through the filter of attention, but it needs to be personally relevant info, such as your name or the name of someone close to you or loud or different in some obvious physical way - Selective attention can operate at multiple stages of processing: - Donald Broadbent – developed the filter theory to explain the selective nature of attention - He assumed that people have a limited capacity for sensory information and thus screen incoming information letting in only the most important - Like a gate that only opens for important information and closes the rest …but how does it do that? - Some stimuli demand attention and virtually shut off the ability to attend to anything else ( i.e. doing something then a muscle cramp occurs causing you to direct your attention to that) - Some stimuli that evoke emotions may readily capture attention because they provide important information about potential threats in an environment - Same object produces a stronger attentional response when it is viewed as a socially relevant ( i.e. an eye) - Faces are a good example of stimuli that capture attention because they provide important social information (i.e. potential mate, or threat) - As an adaptive system, attention helps people focus on important objects in their environments - Decisions about what to attend to are made early in the perceptual process - Even when participants cannot repeat an unattended message they still have processed its contents - People can extract meaning from the word even though they did not process the word consciously - Change blindness – the fact that we are often blind to large changes in our environment because we cannot attend to everything in the vast array of visual information available - I.e. participants gave directions to a stranger who was momentarily blocked by a large object and then replaced with another person, 50% people didn’t notice that the person changed as long as they were the same race and sex - Change blindness show that we can attend to a limited amount of information and that large discrepancies exist between what most people believe they see and what they actually see - Change blindness also shows how attention influences memory - You wouldn’t really remember what the persons face who asked you for directions would look like, because you did not pay close attention to how they looked - Therefore: our perceptions of the world are often inaccurate and we have little awareness of our perceptual failures - READ SUM UP PART 2 - WHAT ARE THE BASIC STAGES OF MEMORY? - Memory allows us to take information from our experiences and store it for retrieval later - Not all experiences allow a person to remember them, but some memories last for a lifetime - Since the late 1960s, psychologists have viewed memory as a form of information processing, with process analogous to the ways through which computers process information - memory multiple processes can be thought of as operating over time in three distinct phases: - 1. The encoding phase - occurs at the time of learning, as information is acquired/encoded or changed into a neural code that the brain can use the processing of information so that it can be stored - 2. The storage phase- can last a fraction of a second or as long as a lifetime (at least three storage systems which differ in how long they store information) the retention of encoded representations over time that corresponds to some change in the nervous system that registers the event - 3. Retrieval phase – which we usually think of as reaching into our memory storage to find or retrieve a previously encoded and store memory when we need it the act of recalling or remembering stored information to use it - Psychologists describe memory as a three part system that involves sensory memory, short –term or working memory, and long term memory - The modal memory model – the three –stage memory system that involves sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory - Encoding storage retrieval - Sensory memory  short-term memory long-term memory - Sensory memory is brief: - Sensory memory – memory for sensory information that is stored briefly close to its original sensory form - It’s a temporary memory system, lasting only a fraction of a second and closely tied to the sensory systems - Not what we usually think of when we think of memory, because it’s really short - Our sensory systems change the information into neural impulses and everything we remember is the result of neurons firing in the brain - Occurs when a light, a sound, and odour, a taste or tactile impression leaves a vanishing trace on the nervous system for a fraction of a second ( i.e. looking at something for a second and looking away and still have an idea how that object looked like) - George sperling – found evidence for sensory memory - Used classic experiment of three rows of letters that were flashed on a screen for 1/20 th second, most people recall that they know all of the letters but really they only know 3-4 letters - Proves participants lost their memory of exactly what they had seen - He concluded that the visual memory persisted for about one – third of a second, after which the sensory memory faded, until it was no longer accessible - Sensory memories allow us to experience the world as a continuous stream rather than in discrete sensations - Working memory is active: - Information that is attended to passes from sensory stores to short-term memory - Short term memory – limited capacity memory system that holds information in awareness for a brief period, but longer than the fraction of a second that sensory memory lasts - Known as working memory- an active processing system that keeps different types of information available for current use - Memory storage system that combines information from different sources and can work on the information we have in memory - Also called immediate memory – consists of our fleeting thoughts, ever-shifting feelings and temporary impressions of things in the world - The information in short – term memory is constantly replaced by new information, and it is lost forever if not saved - It stays for about 20-30 sec then disappears fully unless you actively prevent it from happening by thinking about or rehearsing the information - Working memory lasts less than a half a minute without continuous rehearsing as a way to remember - Memory span and chunking: - W.M can only hold a limited amount of information - The limit is generally 7 items related to memory span - Recent research shows today, it may be from few to four items - If large information is broke into smaller meaningful units: - 1. Memory span is limited to seven items, probably fewer but the items can be concepts - 2. Meaningful units are easier to remember than nonsense units - Chunking – organizing information into meaningful units - The more efficiently you chunk the information the more you can remember - The greater your expertise with the material, the more efficiently you can chunk information - Retrieval, transformation and substitution – make distinct and independent contributions to updating the contents of working memory (20+5=25) - However sometimes only one of the processes is necessary to update working memory ( just saying 25 instead of doing all the math in your head) - Working memory’s four parts: - Researchers saw short –term memory as simply a buffer, or holding place ( in which verbal information was rehearsed until it was stored or forgotten - W.M is an active processing unit that deals with multiple types of information such as sounds, images, and ideas - Alan Baddeley developed an influential model of an active memory system working memory - Four components of working memory – central executive, the phonological loop, visuospatial sketch pad and the episodic buffer - Central executive- preside over the interaction among the phonological loop, the visuospatial sketchpad, the episodic buffer and long term memory - It is the control system, encodes information from the sensory systems and then filters information that is sufficiently important to be stored in long – term memory - Also retrieves information from long-term memory as needed - It relies on the other three sub-components, which temporarily hold auditory or visuospatial information of personally relevant information - Phonological loop- encodes auditory information and is active whenever a person tries to remember words by reading them, speaking them or repeating them - People tend to make errors with consonants that sound alike rather than those that look alike (D AND T RATHER THEN D AND Q) - Words are processed in WM by how they sound rather than by how they look or what they mean - Visuospatial sketchpad- processes visual information, such as objects features and where they are located - Episodic buffer- holds temporary information about oneself, drawing heavily on long – term episodic memory - Long- term memory is relatively permanent: - Long-term memory – the relatively permanent storage of information - The human LTM is nearly limitless - Allows you to remember nursery rhymes, spelling and etc. - Distinguishing long- term memory from working memory- - Long-term memory is distinct from working memory in two important ways  duration and capacity - Controversy – if LTM and WM were separate systems - To test this they did research on participants to read a long list of words - They however only remembered the beginning or the end, not really in the middle - Serial position effect-involves two separate effects: primary effect and recency effect - Primacy effect- refers to the better memory people have for items presented at the beginning of the list - Recency effect- refers to peoples better memory for the most recent items, at the end of the list - Primacy effect correlates with LTM (repeating it so it transfers to the LTM) - Recency effect correlates with WM (short-term memory) - Delay between the presentation of the list and the recall task - Best support for the distinction between WM and LTM exists at the biological level of analysis - (case studies of H.M) - H.M’s LTM and WM separately work perfectly, however he was unable to transfer new information from WM into LTM - Left temporal lobe- WM takes place, but LTM works perfectly fine - Studies show that the LTM can be separated from the WM - However, LTM and WM are highly interdependent (i.e. to chunk info in WM people need to form meaningful connections based on information stored in LTM) - What gets into long-term memory? – - A filtering system or series of rules must constrain what goes into our LTM - One possibility is that info enters permanent storage through rehearsal - Studies show that overlearning, in which keep rehearsing material you already know pretty well, leads to improved memory, especially over longer periods of time - Material studied in distributed practice is remember better than material studied in a brief period through cramming or massed practice - Although rehearsal is good to get stuff into your LTM, simply just repeating is not fully efficient - Merely seeing something countless times does not enable people to recall its details - * we attend just enough for the task at hand and lose info that seems irrelevant - Only information that helps to adapt to our environment are transformed into our LTM - We want to store only useful information so as to benefit from experience - Memory allows us to use information in ways that assist in reproductive and survival learning from past experiences - READ SUM UP PART 3 - WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT LONG-TERM MEMORY SYSTEMS? - Older view was that memories differed in terms of their strength ( how likely something would be recalled) and their accessibility (context in which something would be recalled) but generally all memories were considered to be on same type - But through research it is found that memory is not just one entity but rather a process that involves several interacting systems - Their common function is to retain and use information however they encode and store different types of information in different ways - Long term memories differ in how they were learnt, how they stored and retrieved - Explicit memory involves conscious effort: - The most basic distinction between memories is the memories we know consciously and the memories we acquire without conscious effort - Implicit memory – the system underlying unconscious memories - Explicit memory – the processes involved when people remember specific information - Declarative memory – the cognitive information retrieved from explicit memory; knowledge that can be declared involves words, concepts, visual images or both - Explicit memory can be split into episodic and semantic memory - Episodic memory – persons past experiences and includes information about the time and place the experiences occurred memory for one’s personal past experiences - Semantic memory –represents the knowledge of facts independent of personal experience memory for knowledge about the world …may not know when or where we learned it but we know it - Episodic and semantic memory are separate in explicit memory, can be shown through people that have been through brain damage - Implicit memory occurs without deliberate effort: - Consists of memories without awareness of them - Not able to put memories into words - Classical conditioning employs implicit memory fear of lab coats…putting pain association with lab coats - Implicit memory does not require conscious attention, happens automatically - Influences us in subtle ways - Attitudes influenced by implicit memory - Implicit attitude can affect our beliefs and values - Shiffrin – came up with the modal memory model - Larry jacoby – false fame effect- not knowing a name, but hearing it before thinking it’s a famous person’s name - Implicit memory is also involved in repetition priming – the improvement in identifying or processing a stimulus that has been experienced previously - Occurs even when participants cannot explicitly recall the words in the first task - Another example of implicit memory is procedural memory (motor memory) – a type of implicit memory that involves motor skills and behavioural habits - Involves motor skills habits, and other behaviours employed to achieve goals, such as coordinating muscle movements to ride a bicycles or following rules on road - Have automatic unconscious aspect, so much that most people find that consciously thinking about automatic behaviours interferes with the smooth production of those behaviours - Prospective memory is remembering to do something: - Prospective memory is future oriented - Prospective memory – remembering to do something at some time in the future - Paying attention has a cost - The cognitive effort involved in attending to certain information makes us unable to attend closely to other information - Remembering to do something takes up valuable cognitive resources by reducing the # of items we can deal with in working memory or by reducing the # of things we can attend to - Involves both automatic and controlled processes - Sometimes the retrieval cues occur in a particular environment ( i.e. seeing a person triggers the thing you had to do) - Prospective memory for events without retrieval cues is why sticky notes are so popular - READ SUM UP Part 4 - How is information organized in Long-term memory?- - Long term- storage and organizational memories: - Long term storage is base
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