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Chapter 5

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Christine Burton

Chapter 5: Short-Term and Working Memory Memory: processes involved in retaining, retrieving, and using information about stimuli, images, etc ... after the original information is no longer present • “mental time travel” – place you back in a situation so you feel as though you are reliving it Studying Memory Modal Model of Memory: includes many of the features of memory models where stages in the model are called the structural features of the model 1. Sensory memory: initial stage that holds all incoming info for seconds/fractions of a second 2. Short-term memory (STM): holds 5-7 items for about 15-30 seconds 3. Long-term memory (LTM): holds a large amount of info for years or even decades • Memory system includes control processes – active processes that can be controlled by the person o Ex: rehearsal – repeating a stimulus over and over to retain it in your memory • Long-term memory = essential for storing information, before we become aware of this stored information, must be moved back into STM Encoding: storing into long-term memory Retrieval: remembering information that is stored in long-term memory Sensory Memory Sensory Memory: retention, for brief periods of time, of the effects of stimulation The Sparkler’s Trail Persistence of vision: retention of the perception of light in your mind • Film is flashed 24 times per second • Person doesn’t see dark intervals between images because the persistence of vision fills in the darkness Sperling’s Experiment • Experiment reveals capacity and duration of memory • Sperling: How much information people can take in from briefly presented stimuli? Whole Report Method: participants asked to report as many letters as possible from the whole matrix • People can remember an average of 4.5 out of 12 letters if flashed for 50 milliseconds • Problem: perception fade rapidly so they could no longer see the matrix or remember what had been there Partial Report Method: flashed matrix for 50 ms, immediately after it was flashed a cue tone was sounded to indicate which row of letters should be reported 1. High-pitched = top row 2. Medium-pitched = middle row 3. Low-pitched = bottom row • Attention directed to whatever trace remained in participant’s mind after letters were turned off o Participants saw an average of 82% of the letters in either row o Concluded that participants saw an average of 82% in the entire display, but not able to report due to rapidly fading perception Delayed Partial Report Method: similar to partial report method, but there was a delay between flashing of letters and cue tone (1 second) • Could report only 1 letter in a row • Immediately after stimulus is presented, all or most of stimulus is available for perception – sensory memory • Over next second, sensory memory fades • Next second after, number of letters about the same as number of letters in whole report method Iconic memory/Visual icon: short-lived sensory memory that registers all or most of the information that hits our visual receptors, but decays within less a second Echoic memory: persistence of sound which lasts for a few seconds after presentation of the original stimulus Short-Term Memory Short-term Memory (STM): system involved in storing small amounts of information for a brief period of time • Some of this is eventually lost, some reaches the LTM Recall: participants are presented with stimuli and then, after a delay, are asked to remember as many of the stimuli as possible • Measuring recall contrasts with measuring recognition o Pick items they have previously seen among other items not previously seen What is the Duration of STM? Decay: memory trace fades after a certain passage of time Proactive Interference (PI): interference that occurs when information that was learned previously interferes with learning new information • Causes decrease in memory observed in the later trials of Peterson & Peterson’s experiment What is the Capacity of STM? Digital span: the number of digits a person can remember (Average = 5-8 digits) • Idea stems from George Miller – “Magical Number Seven plus or minus Two” Chunking: small units (like words) can be combined into larger meaningful units, like phrases, or even larger units, like sentences or stories Chunk: collection of elements are strongly associated with one another but are weakly associate with elements in other chunks • Increases unrelated sequence of 5-8 unrelated words  20 or more related words How is Info Coded in STM? Coding: the way information is represented Physiological approach to Coding: determining how a stimulus is represented by the firing of neurons Mental approach to Coding: how a stimulus or an experience is represented in the mind • Auditory coding – sound of person’s voice • Visual coding – image of person • Seman
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