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Chapter 8

Psychology 1000 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Memory Rehearsal, Long-Term Memory, Sensory Memory

Course Code
PSYCH 1000

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Chapter 8: Memory
Memory processes that allow us to record and later retrieve experiences and
H.M. had hippocampus removed to stop seizures, but was left with amnesia
o Remembers past, forgets a few years before procedure, and cant form new
o His performance on tasks improves even though he doesn’t remember them
Viewing the mind as a processing system that encodes, stores, and retrieves
Encoding getting information into system by translating it into a neural code that
your brain processes
o Kind of like typing and keystrokes translated into electrical code that computer
can understand and process
Storage retaining information over time
Retrieval pulling information out when we want to use it
A Three-Component Model
Memory has 3 major components: sensory memory, short-term or “working”
memory, and long-term memory
This model doesn’t assume each component corresponds to a specific part of the
Sensory Memory
Holds incoming sensory information just long enough for it to be recognized
Composed of different subsystems, called sensory registers, which are the initial
information processors
Visual sensory register is called the iconic store
o Stores information for a very brief amount of time, a fraction of a second
Auditory sensory register is called the echoic store
o Lasts longer than iconic
o Around 2 seconds long
Short-Term / Working Memory
Most information in sensory memory just fades away

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Through selective attention, a small portion of the information enter short term
memory, which holds the information that we are conscious of at any given time
Also called working memory because it consciously processes, codes, and “works
on” information
Icon: temporary visual memory trace
Memory codes
Information must be represented by some type of code if it is to be retained in
short term and eventually long term memory
Memory codes are mental representations that can take on many forms:
o Mental image: visual encoding
o Code something by sound: phonological encoding
o Meaning of stimulus: semantic encoding
o Patterns of movement: motor encoding
The form of memory code often doesn’t correspond to the form of the original
o Ex. We read works (visual stimuli) but we form phonological codes since
we are saying the words to ourselves, and semantic codes since we are
thinking about their meaning
Capacity and duration
Short term memory can hold only a limited about of information at a time
We can hold about 5-9 items at a time in short term memory (letters, numbers,
words, etc.)
Chunking combining individual items into larger units of meaning, greatly aids
short term memory also limited in duration (as well as capacity)
lasts about 20 seconds
by rehearsing information (saying it over and over again in our heads or out
loud), we can extend its duration in short term memory indefinitely
maintenance rehearsal simplest repetition of information
o ex. Saying a phone number over and over again while you wait for the
elaborative rehearsal focusing on meaning of information or relating it to other
things we already know
both types keep information active in short term but elaborative is more effective
in transferring information into long term

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Putting short term memory “to work”
according to 3 stage model, things that stay in short term long enough will
eventually get transferred to long term
used to be viewed as intermediate step between sensory to long term memory
now it is viewed as a working memory a mental workspace that actively and
simultaneously processes different types if info and supports other cognitive
functions like problem solving and planning, and interacts with long term
one model breaks working memory into 4 components
1) auditory working memory (phonological loop) like when we repeat things to
ourselves mentally
2) visual-spatial working memory (visuospatial sketchpad) allows us to
temporarily store and manipulate images and spatial information, like when
forming mental maps of routes
3) episodic buffer provides temporary storage space where info from long term
and from the phonological loop and/or visuospatial subsystems can be
integrated, manipulated, and mode available for conscious awareness; comes
into play when you chunk information
4) central executive control process that directs action; heavily involved in
prefrontal cortex; manages how much attention is allocated to mental imagery
and auditory rehearsal, calls up information from long term, and integrates
Long-Term Memory
we remain capable of forming new long term memories until we die
long term storage capacity is unlimited
once formed, these memories can last a lifetime
serial position effect U shaped pattern when graphed; meaning that recall is
influenced by a word’s position in a series of items
o has 2 components:
1) primacy effect reflecting superior recall of early words; caused by the
fact that we can quickly rehearse them and transfer the first few words to
long term quickly; if we can avoid rehearsal, then this effect goes away...
for example by listing items faster
2) recency effect reflecting superior recall of the most recent words; caused
by the fact that they are still in short term; this effect can go away if we
eliminate the last words from short term memory by delaying recall test by
30 seconds (while we are prevented from rehearsing)
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