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Date Created: 11/05/15
CHAPTER 7: HUMAN MEMORY Memory is more than just taking information in and putting it in some mental compartment o We have to get it back out too! These three questions correspond to the three key processes involved in memory o Encoding: getting information in; information get into memory Involves forming a memory code Ex. Entering data through keyboard o Storage: maintaining it; how information is maintained in memory Involves maintaining encoded information in memory over time Saving data in file on hard disk Tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon- shoes information storage isn’t enough to guarantee that you’ll remember something o Retrieval: getting it out; how information is pulled back out of memory Involves recovering information from memory stores Calling up file and displaying data on monitor These basic processes help explain the ultimate puzzle in the study of memory: why people forget MEMORY STORAGE= Engram o Iconic memory: photographic memory for a short period of time Everyone has this o Eidetic memory: photographic memory for a long period of time 1 in a million George Sperling: experiment on visual sensory store (after image) o He tested subjects iconic memory by flashing several rows of letters on a screen for a split second to see how many letters they could read after very short exposures o In his experiment, subjects saw an array of letters like this flashed very briefly on a screen o Subjects were asked to read as many letters as possible during the brief flash. Usually they could only ready 4 letters (ave. 4.2) Long-term Potentiation (LTP) o Is a persistent strengthening of synapses based on recent patterns of activity. These are patters of synaptic activity that produce a long-lasting increase in signal transmission between two neurons. o The case of HM Had surgery to remove his right temporal lobe (including hippocampus), and he had a lesion on the other side of his temporal lobe, so essentially after the surgery he had no temporal lobe From the moment after his surgery on he could NOT learn short-term memory into long term memory Believed that the hippocampus takes information from short-term memory into long term memory Affected his LTP ENCODING INFORMATION INTO MEMORY o Encoding is the first step in getting information into our memory o The role of attention Attention involves focusing awareness on a narrowed range of stimuli or events o Selective attention= selection of input Filtering: screening out most potential stimuli while allowing a select few to pass through into conscious awareness Ex: “cocktail party phenomenon” o Hearing your name across the room while having a conversation The phenomenon suggests that attention involves late selection (after the brain has processed the meaning or significance of the input), based on the meaning of input. MULTITASKING o Research suggests that the human brain can effectively handle only one attention consuming task at a time So what happens when we are multitasking? We are really switching our attention back and forth among tasks, rather than processing them simultaneously LEVELS OF PROCESSING: o Qualitative differences in how people attend to information are important factors influencing how much they remember o Fergus Craik and Robert Lockhart (1972) proposed that incoming information can be processed at different levels o They maintained that in dealing with verbal information, people engage in three progressively deeper levels of processing: structural, phonemic, and semantic encoding. o Encoding levels Structural= shallow Emphasizes the physical structure Ex. If words flashed on screen, one remembers how they are printed, or the length of words Phonetic= intermediate Emphasizes what a word sounds like Ex. Involves naming or saying (perhaps silently) the words Semantic= deep Meaning of verbal input It involves thinking about the objects and actions the words represent Craik and Lockhart’s levels of processing theory proposes that deeper levels of processing result in longer- lasting memory codes ENRICHING ENCODING: IMPROVING MEMORY o There are other dimensions to encoding, dimensions that can enrich the encoding process and thereby improve memory Elaboration Semantic encoding can often be enhanced through a process called elaboration. Elaboration= linking a stimulus to other information at the time of encoding o ex. While learning about phobias in class, you apply this information to your own fear of spiders o Differences in elaboration can help explain why different approaches to semantic processing result in varied amounts of retention Visual Imagery= creation of visual images to represent words to be remembered can be used to enrich encoding. Easier for concrete objects: Dual-coding theory o Concrete vs. abstract Ex. Juggler (concrete) vs. Truth (abstract) Allan Paivio (1969) has pointed out that it’s easier to form images of concrete objects than of abstract concepts o Believes that this ease of image formation affects memory Self-Referent Encoding Encoding that involves deciding how or whether information is personally relevant Making material/ information personally meaningful People’s recall of information tends to be slanted in favor of material that is relevant to them. Approach to encoding was compared to structural, phonemic, and semantic encoding in a study by Rogers, Kuiper, and Kierker (1977) Motivation to Remember (MTR) The encoding process can be enhanced by strong motivation to remember When MTR is high at the time of encoding— typically because the information is perceived to be important—people are more likely to exert extra effort to attend to and organize information in ways that facilitate future recall. Dual-Coding Theory Says that memory is enhanced by forming verbal and visual codes, since either can lead to recall Paivio: memory is enhanced by forming semantic and visual codes, since either can lead to recall Paivio: imagery facilitates memory because it provides a second kind of memory code, and two codes are better than one. STORAGE: MAINTAINING INFORMATION IN MEMORY o Atkinson and Shiffrin (1971) model of memory storage Proposed that memory is made up of three information stores Information processing theories Sensory memory o Preserves information in its original sensory form for a brief time, usually only a fraction of a second Allows the sensation of visual pattern, sound, or touch to linger for a brief moment after the sensory stimulation is over It is adaptive because it gives you additional time to try to recognize stimuli o Can hold a large amount of information just long enough (a fraction of a second) for a small portion of its to be selected for longer storage Short-term memory (STM) o Is a limited-capacity store that can maintain unrehearsed information for about 10-20 seconds Limited duration- about 20 seconds without rehearsal Rehearsal- the process of repetitively verbalizing or thinking about the information Depends primarily on phonemic encoding o Has limited capacity, and unless aided by rehearsal, its storage duration is brief o Limited capacity- magical number 7 plus or minus 2 Chunking- grouping familiar stimuli for storage as a single unit ex. When short-term memory is filled to capacity the insertion of new information “bumps out some of the information currently in STM o Working memory capacity- refers to one’s ability to hold and manipulate information in conscious attention Long-term memory o Can store an apparently unlimited amount of information for indeterminate periods o Is long-term memory permanent? Flashbulb memories: usually vivid and detailed recollections of the circumstances in which people learned about momentous, newsworthy events Incoming information passes through two temporary storage buffers- the sensory store and the short-term store before it’s transferred into a long-term store HOW IS KNOWLEDGE REPRESENTED AND ORGANIZED IN MEMORY? o Clustering: tendency to remember similar items in a group; ex: remembering cat and dog in a long list of words o Schemas: an organized cluster of knowledge about a particular object or event abstracted from previous experience with the object or event ex. Remembering common objects in an office People are more likely to remember things that are consistent with their schemas than things that are not People sometimes exhibit better recall of things that violate their schema-based expectations o Semantic networks: consists of nodes representing concepts, joined together by pathways that link related concepts; ex. apple orange blue RETRIEVAL: GETTING INFORMATION OUT OF MEMORY o The tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon: the temporary inability to remember something you know, accompanied by a feeling that it’s just out of reach Retrieval cues: stimuli that help gain access to memories; memories can often be jogged with retrieval cues o Recalling an event Contextual cues They often facilitate retrieval of information o Reconstructing memories Misinformation effect: occurs when participants’ recall of an event they witnessed is altered by introducing misleading post event information FORGETTING: WHEN MEMORY LAPSES o Forgetting is usually seen as a failure, but it can actually be adaptive Forgetting can reduce competition among memories that would otherwise cause confusion EBBINGHAUS’ CONTRIBUTION o Serial Position Effect Remember the items at the beginning and end of a list better o Savings Score: (# of trials in original learning -- # of trials in relearning/ # of trials in original learning) x 100 o Over-learning: if you learn something once, and then fully relearn it, it can improve your memory immensely (retain approx. 95% of information) o Forgetting curve: graphs retention and forgetting over time From his experiments on himself, Ebbinghaus (1885) concluded that forgetting is extremely rapid immediately after the original learning and then levels off. Although this generalization remains true, subsequent research has shown that forgetting curves for nonsense syllables are unusually steep. How quickly we forget: how quickly we forget: Ebbinghaus’s Forgetting Curve RETENTION- THE PROPORTION OF MATERIAL RETAINED o Recall: measure of retention that requires subjects to reproduce information on their own without any cues o Recognition: measure of retention that requires subjects to select previously learned information from an array of options o Relearning: measure of retention that requires a subject to memorize information a second time to determine how much time of how many practice trials are saved by having learned it before WHY DO WE FORGET? o May have never been inserted into memory in the first place o Pseudoforgetting: assume that you know something, but you have actually failed to encode the information Information in question may never have been inserted into memory in the first place Since you can’t really forget something you never learned, this phenomenon is sometimes called pseudofogetting. Pseudoforgetting is usually attributable to lack of attention o Decay theory Attributes forgetting to the impermanence of memory storage Mere passage of time produces forgetting Not much support for this o Interference theory People forget information because of competition from other material Proactive interference: occurs when previously learned information interferes with retention of new information Retroactive interference: occurs when new information impairs the retention of previously learned information HUMAN MEMORY AMNESIA o Cases of organic amnesia- extensive memory loss due to head injury- are another source of clues about the physiological bases of memory Retrograde amnesia Loss of memories from before onset of amnesia Mild case- can’t remember what happened right before the accident Anterograde amnesia Loss of memories after onset of amnesia Mild case- can’t remember what happened right after the accident ARE THERE MULTIPLE MEMORY SYSTEMS? o Procedural vs. Declarative Nondeclarative/Procedural: memory for actions, skills, operations, and conditioned responses Houses memory for actions, skills, conditioned responses, and emotional responses It contains procedural memories of how to execute perceptual-motor skills, such as riding a bike, typing, and ting one’s shoes Declarative: memory for factual information Contains recollections of words, definitions, names, dates, faces, events, concepts, and ideas o Declarative memory can be separated into Semantic vs. Episodic Semantic: general facts/general knowledge o Contains general knowledge that is not tied to the time when the information was learned Episodic: personal facts o Is make up of chronological, or temporally dated, recollections of personal experiences o The function of episodic memory is “time travel”- that is, to allow one to re-experience the past o Prospective vs. Retrospective Prospective: memory to do things in the future Retrospective: memory for past events THE PHYSIOLOGY OF MEMORY: BRAIN REGIONS o Hippocampus Declarative memory Crucial to the consolidation of memories (along with adjacent structures in the medial temporal lobe) o Prefrontal Cortex Short-term memory Contains areas important in working memory o Cerebellum Motor memory Contains an area crucial to neural circuits for conditioned eye blink responses o Amygdala Emotional memory Plays major role in learned fears and other emotional memories CLASS NOTES What are the secrets to improve your memory? o The miracle of the mind o Models of memory Plato- wax Sherlock Holmes- attic Library analogy- rooms, sections, shelves Computer analogy- the technology of the age Memory o Definition: a capacity to remember o All models imply three types of brain functions in remembering: Registration (encoding and decoding) Storage (engram) Retrieval (readout) Register Phase o Encoding: the model of sensory communication Storage Phase o Three types of capacity: Immediate-term or sensory memory Also called ICONIC memory but different from EIDETIC memory Short-term memory Long-term memory Iconic memory o Immediate term memory is sensory information processing Partial report Backward masking Storage phase o Short term: reverberating circuits, Burns 1958 (18 sec in cat) o Donald Hebb (1904-1985) Storage o Is reverberating circuit necessary for memory? o The consolidation hypothesis (Muller and Pilczecher) o Retrograde amnesia o Brenda Milner The hippocampus and its role Long-term Potentiation (LTP) HM o Jim McGaugh The role of emotions Video Storage Phase o Long term: biochemical markers (McConnel, 1962) Transfer experiments (Ungar, 1968) Protein markers (Kandel, 1994) Aplysia research, synaptic sprouts Early Human Memory Research o Hermann Ebbinghaus (1850-1909) The non-sense syllable (eg. Vor, rit, teg) The first learning and forgetting curves Recall, recognition Ebbinghaus’ contribution o Savings score: (OL-RL):OL= x:100 = % saved (20-15):20= x:100 = 25% o Over-learning o Serial position effect o Primacy and recency effects Memory o Frederick C. Bartlett (1886-1969) o “The War of the Ghosts” o Schema- the constructive nature of memory o Criminal Justice- Elizabeth Loftus How to improve your memory o Attention o Active rehearsal: reverberating circuits o Emotional investment o Rest period to allow consolidation o Over-learning o Schema building o Mnemonic devices Retrieval o Mechanisms: Penfield, (1957) stimulation Overton (1964) state dependent learning o Forgetting: two hypotheses: Interference (proactive and retroactive) Decay or disuse o Cognitive psychology o Meaningfulness, familiarity, similarity, processing demand CHAPTER 7 QUESTIONS • This memory system, as described by George Miller, is said to have a limited capacity that can hold 7 +/- 2 “chunks” of information. • a. Sensory memory • b. Short-term memory • c. Long-term memory • d. Schemas • e. Procedural memory • What process extends the length of time information can be held in short term memory? • a. proactive interference • b. chunking • c. rehearsal • d. encoding • e. retrieval • Which region of the brain is most associated with functions of memory? • a. Limbic system • b. Medulla • c. Broca’s area • d. Wernicke’s area • e. Hippocampus • You can remember that Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, but you have no memory of exactly when or where you learned this information. This fact has become part of which memory system? • a. Semantic memory • b. Episodic memory • c. Procedural memory • d. Flashbulb memory • e. Repressed memory • After hitting your head in a car accident, you find yourself in the hospital with no memory of what happened immediately following the accident. You’ve experienced a mild case of: • a. Retrograde amnesia • b. Anterograde amnesia • c. Dissociative fugue • d. Flashbulb memory • e. Selective forgetting
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