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Chapter 6

PSY270 Chapter 6.docx

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Kristie Dukewich

Chapter 6: Long-Term Memory: Structure Korsakoff’s syndrome: a condition caused by a prolonged deficiency of vitamin B1 (usually as a result of chronic alcoholism) that leads to the destruction of areas in the frontal and temporal lobes, which cause severe and permanent impairments in memory Anterograde amnesia: the loss of the ability to assimilate or retain new knowledge Retrograde amnesia: the loss of memory for events that have happened in the past Distinguishing Between Long-Term Memory and Short-Term Memory Long-term memory (LTM): the system that is responsible for storing information for long periods of time; “archive of information about past events in our lives and knowledge we have learned Long-term and Short-term Processes Long-term memory covers a span that stretches from about 30 seconds ago to your earliest memories. Although all of these memories are contained in LTM, recent memories tend to be more detailed, and much of this detail and often the specific memories themselves fade with the passage of time and as other experiences accumulate. Although retaining information about the past is an important characteristic of LTM, we also need to understand how this information is used. We can do this by focusing on the dynamic aspects of how LTM operates, including how it interacts with working memory to create our ongoing experience. LTM provides both an archive that we can refer to when we want to remember events from the past, and a wealth of background information that we are constantly consulting as we use working memory to make contact with what is happening at a particular moment. Serial Position Curve Memory is better for words at the beginning of the list and at the end of the list than for words in the middle. Primacy effect: superior memory for stimuli presented at the beginning of a sequence (possible explanation: participants had time to rehearse these words and transfer them to LTM) Recency effect: superior memory for stimuli presented at the end of a sequence (possible explanation: most recently presented words are still in STM – no delay; delay caused by counting for 30 sec eliminated the recency effect) Coding in Long-term Memory STM – auditory and visual coding most prominent LTM – can use auditory and visual coding too, but semantic is the predominant type of coding Recognition memory: the identification of a stimulus that was encountered earlier Locating Short-and Long-term Memory in the Brain  Neuropsychological Studies o Double dissociation: poor STM, functioning LTM/ functioning STM, poor LTM; STM and LTM operate independently and are served by different mechanisms o The removal of H.M.’s hippocampus helped eliminate his seizures, but they also eliminated his ability to form new LTMs.  Brain Imaging o Some brain imaging experiments have demonstrated activation of different areas of the brain for STM and LTM. o Probe words that were from the beginning of the list (now long-term memory) activated areas of the brain associated with both long-term memory and short-term memory.  It would be expected that both areas would be activated because words at the beginning of the list would be in LTM (primacy effect) and would then be transferred into STM when they were being recalled. o Probe words from the end of the list only activated areas of the brain associated with short-term memory.  It would be expected that only short-term areas would be activated because the recently presented words would be recalled directly from short-term memory. Some other experiments have shown that tasks that involve either STM or LTM can activate the same areas of the brain. This could be because… 1)…there is constant interplay that occurs between STM and LTM. 2)…STM and LTM may share some of the same mechanisms. Types of Long-term Memory LONG-TERM MEMORY EXPLICIT (conscious) IMPLICIT (unconscious) Episodic Semantic Priming Procedural memory Conditioning (personal events) (facts, knowledge) Explicit memory (conscious, declarative) consists of episodic memory (memory for personal experiences) and semantic memory (stored knowledge, memory for facts). Implicit memory (unconscious, non-declarative) consists of priming (a change in response to a stimulus caused by previous presentation of the same or a similar stimulus), procedural memory (skill memory; memory for doing things), and classical conditioning (occurs when pairing an initially neutral stimulus with another stimulus
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