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Chapter 8

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Psychology 1000

CHAPTER 8 Memory as Information Processing - encodes: information is translated nto a neural code that your brain processes - storage: brain retains information over time - retrieval: a process where we pull information out of storage when we want to use it - does not always happen perfectly because we forget things and our memories may be a distortion of what really happened - these three is what our memory system does with information and happens because memory has a type of organization and structure - three basic components of memory A Three- Component Model - says there are three components and they may involve interrelated neural sites Sensory Memory - holds incoming sensory information just long enough for it to be recognized - composed of subsystems called sensory registers: the initial information processors - visual sensory register - iconic store and holds info for a fraction of a second so it is hard to retain complete information in purely visual form for longer than that - auditory sensory register- echoic store lasts longer than iconic memory - a nearly complete echoic trace can last about two seconds Short-Term/ Working Memory - holds the information that we are conscious of at any given time - it consciously process, codes and works on the information - with selective attention only a small portion of our sensory memory enters the short term memory - to be retained in short-term memory and eventually long-term memory, the information that leaves the sensory memory must be represented by some type of code (memory code) - eg. the phone number we looked up has to be represented in our mind - memory codes include: - mental images (visual encoding) - by sound (phonological encoding) - by meaning (semantic encoding) - code patterns of movement (motor encoding) - the form of the memory code does not have to correspond to the form of the original stimulus - eg. memorizing words by reading you may code them with phonological encod- ing (the way the words sound) rather than how they look (visual encoding) - short term memory can only hold a limited amount of information at a time - capacity limit is 7 plus or minus 2 - the limit concerns the number of meaningful units that can be recalled - eg. remembering letters or grouping those letters into words and remem- bering a sentence - chunking: group individual items into larger units of meaning and it can greatly aid recall - Also limited in duration - without rehearsal, the “shelf-life” of information in short-term memory is about 20 seconds - with rehearsal we can increase the duration of the short-term memory infinately - Maintainence rehearsal: simple repetition of information - eg. repeating a telephone number - elaborative rehearsal: focusing on the meaning of information or relat- ing it to other things we already know - eg. rehearse term iconic memory by thinking about examples of iconic memory in your own life - this type of rehearsal is better for transferring short-term memory into long term memory - items that remain on short-term memory long enough gets transferred into long-term memory - originally short-term memory was seen as a loading dock for information to long-term memory - how now it is viewed as a working memory that actively and simultaneously pro- cesses different types of information and supports other cognitive functions (problem solving) and interacts with long-term memory - so like the office of a librarian who is categorizing and organizing new material - eg. when we add 27 and 46 in our heads - working memory stores the numbers, calls up info from the long-term memory on how to add, keeps track of the carrying 1 from 13 and coordi- nates these mental processes - one model divides working memory into four components - auditory working memory (phonological loop) - maintains some information like when we repeat a phone number - visual-spatial working memory (visuospatial sketchpad) - temporarily stores and manipulates images and spatial information like forming mental maps of the route - episodic buffer - provides temporary storage space where information from long term, au- ditory working and visual-spatial can be combined and manipulated for conscious awareness - central executive - decides how much attention to allocate to mental imagery and auditory rehersal, calls up info from long-term memory and integrates the input - example of this: - when heard saying “How much is 87 plus 36?” - phonological loop initially maintains the acoustic codes for the sounds of the numbers - visuospatial sketchpad may maintain a mental image - rules of addition taken from long term memory and is temporarily stored in episodic buffer and applied to the info from the two working memories - this gives the ingredients for you consciousness to perform the mental addition - all of this is overseen by the central executive Long-Term Memory - our library of more durable stored memories - we remain capable of storing information here until we die- as far as we know it is un- limited with unlimited durability - short term and long term memory are distinct, supported by - amnesia victims - serial position effect: recall of a list of words is influenced by a word’s position in a series of items - primacy effect (recall of early words)- enters short term first so we can re- hearse them and transfer into long term memory - recency effect (recall of late words) - enters last so it pushes out the oth- er words in the short term memory (we run out of time to rehearse the middle words into long term) Encoding: Entering Information - The more effectively we encode material into long-term memory, the greater the likeli- hood of retrieving it Effortful and Automatic Processing - effortful processing: encoding that is initiated intentionally and requires conscious at- tention - eg. rehearsing, making lists and taking notes - automatic processing: encoding that is unintentional and requires minimal attention - eg. not knowing the answer to a question on the exam but knowing where ex- actly on the page it appears in the textbook - it was transferred into long-term memory by unintentionally - timing, location and sequence of things are usually automatic as well as pro- cesses like reading Levels of Processing: When Deeper is Better - levels of processing: the more deeply we processing information, the better it will be remembered - it is hard to measure which level of processing is deeper - however if we compare semantic encoding to visual encoding, the items that go though semantic encoding are more likely to be remembered because it requires to think about meaning and so involves a deeper processing than the shallow visual Exposure and Rehearsal - to learn factual and conceptual information, we need to employ effortful, deep process- ing - simple repeated exposure to a stimulus without thinking about it is shallow pro- cessing and will not help us to remember - elaborative rehearsal focuses on the meaning of information so we have to actively or- ganize it so it requires deeper processing than maintenance rehearsal therefore it is bet- ter at transferring information into long-term memory Organization and Imagery - organizing information makes it easier to memorize - enhances meaning and can trigger our memory for the information it represents Hierarchies and Chunking - presenting information in a logical hierarchy makes it easier to memorize because it enhances our understanding of how these diverse elements are related - because hierarchies have a visual organization, there is a possibility we can remember it using imagery - chunking helps us remember because by grouping them together, we decrease the amount of individual pieces of information we need to keep in short term memory so we won’t overfill the capacity Mnemonic Devices - any type of memory aid - eg. hierarchies, chinking, acronyms - it helps because although it does not reduce the amount of information, it organizes it into meaningful groups and provide cues to help the retrieval of information from the long term memory Visual Imagery - dual coding theory: encoding information using both verbal codes and non-verbal codes enhances memory because the odds improve that at least one will be remem- bered at a later date - some people suggest that to remember a list of items/concepts, take an imaginary stroll through an environment with each idea as an image linking to a different idea - imagery to dual-code information How prior knowledge shapes Encoding - we do not usually remember things exactly, we form a mental representation that cap- tures the gist of what someone is saying or what we are reading Schemas: Our Mental Organizers - Schemas: an organized pattern of thought about some aspect of the world (class of people, objects) - we usually store information that we extract around schemas - our schemas are formed from experience and it will influence the way we encode ma- terial in memory - eg. reading a passage about how to wash clothes without knowing what it is makes it hard to remember the content. However if we are told that it is about washing clothes, we will be able to organize the content around the schema of washing clothes and the ideas won’t seem so unconnected - schemas gives us a readiness to perceive (to organize and interpret) information in a certain way Schemas, Encoding and Expertise - when we gain “expert knowledge” such as learning music, we are actually developing schemas - so if we have a well- developed schema, it will be easier for us to remember something pertaining to that because we can organize it into meaningful groups around the schema whereas for something without the schema, it will seem like random information Storage: Retaining Information Memory as a Network - memory is enhanced by elaborative rehearsal - this is so because it forms associations between new and existing information Associative Networks - a massive network of associated ideas and concepts - memories can be represented as an associative network - shorter lines is stronger association - items with the same categories have the strongest associations - when we think of a concept, the related concepts are partially activated as well - priming: the activation of one concept by another - fact that we may store memories with associations helps understand why mnemonic devices help to stimulate our recall, it primes the ideas Neural Networks - provides a different and increasingly popular model of memory - neural networks has nodes that are liked to one another but these nodes are physical and do not contain individual units of information - there is no single node for red instead each node processes information (like a node is a neuron in your brain) - each concept is represented by a particular pattern or set of nodes that becomes acti- vated simultaneously - eg. if node 4 and 9 are activated together, it might bring about the idea of red Types of Long-T erm Memory Declarative and Procedural Memory - Declarative memory: involves factual knowledge and includes two subcategories - episodic memory: our store of actual knowledge concerning personal experi- ences - when where and what happened in the episodes of our lives - eg. i ate pizza last night - semantic memory: represents general factual knowledge about the world and language, including memory for words and concepts - eg. Mt Everest has the tallest peak - called declarative because to demonstrate our knowledge, we have to declare it - when you have a brain injury, you can damage both or only one aspect of your declarative memory - Procedural memory: contents are not verbalized, reflected in skills and actions - skills eg. riding a bike or playing an instrument - classically conditioned responses Explicit and Implicit Memory - explicit memory: involves conscious or intentional memory retrieval - when we consciously recognize or recall something - recognition requires us to decide whether a stimulus is familiar - recall involves spontaneous memory retrieval - Implicit Memory: memory influences our behaviour without conscious awareness - riding a bike, driving or performing any well-learned task - we can be consciously thinking about something else while we drive and such Retrieval: Accessing Information - retrieval cue: any stimulus, whether internal or external, that stimulates the activation of information stored in long-term memory - eg. seeing a yearbook picture The Value of Multiple and Self-Generated Cues - having multiple cues and having the cues generated by yourself increases memory significantly - generating our own associations involves deeper, more elaborative rehearsal than being presented with associations generated by someone else so it is en- coded better - as well, generating multiple associations involves deeper processing than think- ing of only one so again, leads to better encoding - it is easier to retrieve because self-generated cues have more personal mean- ing and with multiple cues, if one fails, another may activate the memory The Value of Distinctiveness - in general distinctive stimuli are better remembered than non-distinctive ones - applies to events in our lives - we can enhance the memorability of nondistinctive stimuli by associating them with other stimuli that make them distinctive - that is why three-word associations are better, draw a distinctive, personally meaningful set of cues - remember stuff when studying by making it personally meaningful Flashbulb Memory: Fogging Up the Picture? - flashbulb memories: recollections that seem so vivd, that we can picture them as if they were a snapshot of a moment in time - usually for distinctive positive or negative events that evoke strong emotional re- actions - because it is so vivid, it seems accurate but over time it can fade and become inaccu- rate - memory accuracy and confidence are weakly related Context, State and Mood Effects on Memory - encoding specificity principle: memory is enhanced when conditions present during retrieval
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