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Chapter 8: Memory

by: Brooke McGloon

Chapter 8: Memory Psych 101

Brooke McGloon
GPA 4.0

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Chapter 8: Memory
Introductory Psychology
Dr. David Daniel
Class Notes
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Brooke McGloon on Wednesday February 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psych 101 at James Madison University taught by Dr. David Daniel in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 42 views. For similar materials see Introductory Psychology in Psychlogy at James Madison University.


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Date Created: 02/03/16
Psych 101 Memory - The learning that has persisted over time—information that has been acquired, stored, and can be retrieved - the use of past experience to affect or influence current behavior - Measures of retention o Recall: retrieving information that is not currently in your conscious awareness but that was learned at an earlier time (a fill-in-the-blank question tests this) o Recognition: identifying items previously learned (a multiple-choice question tests this) o Relearning: learning something more quickly when you learn it a second or later time—when studying for a final exam or engaging in a language used in early childhood, you will relearn the material more easily then you did initially - Information-processing models are analogies that compare human memory to a computer’s operations—to remember any event, we must… o Get information into our brain (encoding) o Retain that information (storage) o Later, get the information back out (retrieval) - Different then a computer’s, our dual-track brain processes many things simultaneously (some of them unconsciously) by means of parallel processing - Connectionism (one information-processing model) o Views memories as products of interconnected neural networks o Specific memories arise from particular activation patterns within these networks o Every time you learn something new, your brain’s neural connections change, forming and strengthening pathways that allow you to interact and learn from your constantly changing environment - (1968) Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin proposed another model to explain our memory-forming process (3 stages) o We first record to-be-remembered information as sensory memory o Then, we process information into short-term memory, where we encode it through rehearsal o Finally, information moves into long-term memory for later retrieval - Others have updated this ^ model to include working memory and automatic processing - This stage is not just a temporary shelf for holding incoming info—it’s an active desktop where your brain processes info, making sense of new input and linking it with long-term memories - Working Memory: a newer understanding of short-term memory that focuses on conscious, active processing of incoming auditory and visual- spatial information, and of information retrieved from long-term memory - Things you read might enter working memory through vision or you may repeat info using auditory rehearsal - As you integrate these memory inputs with your existing long-term memory, your attention is focused (Baddeley suggested a central executive handles this focused processing (2002)) - Without focused attention, information often fades—sometimes Google replaces rehearsal - Atkinson and Shriffin’s model focused on how we process our explicit memories: facts and experiences that one can consciously know and “declare” (declarative memories) - We encode explicit memories through conscious effortful processing - Other information skips the conscious encoding track and barges directly into storage, this is unconscious encoding of incidental information, such as space, time, frequency, and of well-learned info, such as word meanings (automatic processing—happens without our awareness), this produces implicit memories: retention independent of conscious recollection (nondeclarative memory) - Our implicit memories include procedural memory for automatic skills (riding a bike!) and classically conditioned associations among stimuli (automatic) o Space o Time o Frequency Memory operates through 5 Steps: 1) Sensation: have to sense info in order to put it into brain 2) Attention: 3) Encoding 4) Storing 5) Retaining the info Context effects TYPES OF MEMORY Sensory memory: where everything goes—everything you sense  Stays there until you decide if its relevant or not (brief duration, 250-500 mil)  Precategorical, no perception—haven’t made meaning of it  To categorize something, have to go through whole system  If important, you’ll pay attention to it, then goes to short-term memory  Iconic memory:  Echoic memory: Short-term memory  Limited duration (last 3-20 sec, if you don’t do anything to it)—stays with maintenance rehearsal  Chunking: meaningful bits of information  Limited capacity (7+ or – 2 chunks of info)  Maintenance rehearsal: move to long-term memory (memory strategies o Organization: using categories/relationships to reorder and put items in ways to be remembered o Elaboration: linking items to be remembered in image or sentence (eggs/milk- cow having egg—linking the two) o Visual imagery o External memory aids: lists, timers, strings, something out of place (lower ability to memorize) THE BRAIN PARTS (many parts of the brain interact as we encode, store, and retrieve information that forms our memories) The Hippocampus and Frontal Lobes - The network that processes and stores your explicit memories for facts and episodes - Processing sites for your explicit memories - Many brain regions send input to your frontal lobes for working memory processing - Left frontal lobe: recalling a password and holding it in working memory - Right frontal lobe: calling up a visual party scene - The hippocampus, a temporal-lobe neural center located in the limbic system, is the brain’s equivalent of a “save” button for explicit memories (names, images, events are laid down via ^) - Damage to the hippocampus therefore disrupts recall of explicit memories - Left-hippocampus damage: people have trouble remembering verbal information - Right-hippocampus damage: have trouble recalling visual designs and locations - Sub-regions of the hippocampus: o One part is active as people learn to associate names with faces o Another part is active as memory champions engage in spatial mnemonics o The rear area, which processes spatial memory grows bigger the longer a London cabbie has navigated the maze of streets - Memories are NOT permanently stored in the hippocampus—it acts as a loading dock where the brain registers and temporarily holds the elements of a remembered episode (its smell, feel, sound, and location), then memories migrate for storage elsewhere The Cerebellum and Basal Ganglia - Automatic processing, implicit memories (skills and conditioned associations) - The cerebellum plays a key role in forming and storing the implicit memories created by classical conditioning—with a damaged cerebellum, people cannot develop certain conditioned reflexes - Implicit memory formation needs the cerebellum - The basal ganglia, deep brain structures involved in motor movement, facilitate formation of our procedural memories for skills (ride a bike) - The basal ganglia receive input from the cortex but do not return the favor of sending information back to the cortex for conscious awareness of procedural learning - These parts help explain why the reactions and skills we learned during infancy reach far into our future - Our conscious memories of our first three years are blank (infantile amnesia) o We index much of our memory using words that nonspeaking children have not learned o The hippocampus is one of the last brain structures to mature The Amygdala - Our emotions trigger stress hormones that influence memory formation - When we are excited or stressed, these hormones make more glucose energy available to fuel brain activity, signaling the brain that something important has happened - Stress hormones provoke the amygdala to initiate a memory trace in the frontal lobes and basal ganglia and to boost activity in the brain’s memory- forming areas - Emotional arousal can sear certain events into the brain, while disrupting memory for neutral events around the same time - Emotions often persist without our conscious awareness of what caused them (evident in amnesia patients) - Significantly stressful events can form almost indelible memories (wartime ambush, rape) - “Stronger emotional experiences make for stronger, more reliable memories” and weaker emotions mean weaker memories - Memory serves to predict the future and to alert us to potential danger - Emotion-triggered hormonal changes help explain why we long remember exciting or shocking events - Flashbulb memories: a clear memory of an emotionally significant event/moment Proactive interference Memory Processing  Automatic o Things that you don’t have to think about (driving a car after a couple year of experience, listening to someone talk in your first language)  Control o Things you have to pay attention to, think about to do (when you first learn to drive a car, when your learning a lesson in a different language —you first interpret then learn) Levels of Processing: - Depth of processing affects our long term retention - The deeper, more meaningful the processing, the better our retention - If new information is not meaningful or related to our experience, we have trouble processing it Shallow Processing - Very basic level - A word’s letters - (Structural) is the word in capital letters? Intermediate Processing: - A words sound - (Phonetic) does the word rhyme with? Deep Processing: - Meaning of the words - (Semantic encoding) would the word fit into the sentence? Distributed practice: - We retain information better when our encoding is distributed over time - Spacing effect: distributed practice (equals better long-term recall) (beats cramming) - Spreading your learning over several months, rather than over a shorter term, can help you retain information for a lifetime - One effective way to distribute practice is repeated self-testing (the testing effect) - Its better to practice retrieval than to merely reread material State-dependent memory Mood-congruent memory: the tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with one’s current good or bad mood Serial position effect: our tendency to recall best the last (recency effect) and first (primacy effect) items in a list Primacy effect: You remember things/names/words at the beginning of a list because that’s what you took the most time to repeat in your head (most likely to be in long-term memory so you can remember after distraction) Recency effect: You remember things/names/words at the end of a list because they are the ones you have heard/seen most recently (they are in your short-term memory so can be forgotten after a delay or distraction Memories: - When we retrieve memories, we reweave them, incorporating info we imagined, expected, saw, and heard after the event - This The misinformation effect (the imagination effect)  Exposed to misleading information, we tend to misremember  Example: Eyewitness reconstruct memories after a crime or accident (smashed (much faster and shattered glass) and hit (not as fast and no glass), different results in speed and if the glass broke or not—words changed memory of event)  Words can get woven into memory and people think they actually saw it (yield sign/stop sign)  It can influence later attitudes and behaviors  Even repeatedly imagining not existent actions and events can create false memories  Digitally altered photos have also produced this imagination inflation  The human mind seems to come with built-in Photoshopping software False memories: thinking something is in a list of things because it goes a long with the gist of the other words (thinking sleep was in the list of these words: tired, pillow, bed, alarm, mattress, dreams because it goes along with the overall concept) Source amnesia: (source misattribution): - Heart of many false memories - Attribution of an event to the wrong source we experienced, heard, read, or imagined - DRM paradigm: (sleep) not on list but related to other words or gist of sequence - 25 % of people can be convinced that they were lost in the mall as a child - *Cornell professor (sam stone experiment) - Michaels case - Mick Martin- Cali, Nickels???? - Suzies case - Kids saying no to cards than after being re-asked they said yes with lots of perceptual detail - Source amnesia: o Leading questions o Repeated questions and time lapse (now familiar) o Source misattribution o Recovered memories - Eileen Franklin: o In therapy for emotional distress o Led to believe that she had memories from childhood that had been repressed (her father sexually abusing her and her friend and murdered her friend (20 years earlier)—he served 5 years in prison) Repression: A defense mechanism that operation unconsciously to prevent conscious recollection of disturbing events - Originates with Freud - Ongoing debate BUT research suggests that repression rarely, if ever, occurs - A memory from childhood is unlikely to be recovered accurately years later - Emotional events are more likely to be remembered - APA: “it is impossible to distinguish true memory from a false one”—so cannot convict on this! Loss of memory: AMNESIA: the loss of memory - Most suffering from amnesia lose explicit memory but retain implicit Retrograde Amnesia:  Can make new memories, but cannot remember the past  Very rare!!!! Anterograde amnesia:  Can remember past (mostly) but cannot make new memories  Most common  Live in short-term memory (30 seconds) Causes of amnesia:  Brain damage (by injury or disease) o Temporal lobe o Hippocampus  Psychological causes (dissociative amnesia) o Rare (may not be permanent) o Type of retrograde amnesia o Fugue state: temporary loss of identity and autobiographical memory Korsakoff’s Syndrome  Result of chronic alcoholism (B, deficiency)  Unable to form new long-term memories  Anterograde amnesia H.M.  Suffered from severe epilepsy  1953 Scoville removed 2/3 of hippocampi and other areas of the medical temporal lobe  Anterograde amnesia  Some retrograde amnesia Clive Wearing  Encephalitis caused damage to hippocampus  Anterograde with some retrograde amnesia  Procedural memory largely intact (piano)  Cannot transfer memory from STM to LTM (no new memories)  Remembers wife  Diary (series of things written, crossed out, and same thing written over and over again (8:00 I am awake, cross out, 9:00 now I am awake)


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