Chapter 6: memory

is an active system that receives information from the senses, puts the information into usable form, organizes it as it stores it away and then retrieves the information form storage
the first process in the memory system is to get sensory information into a form the brain can use; set of operations that are used to convert sensory information to a form that is usable in the brains storage system
2nd step in memory is to hold on the information for some period of time; held for different lengths depending on the system of memory being used; can be held onto more or less permanently
Biggest problem many people face with memory; getting the information they have out of storage
Hearing a sound and the ears turn the vibrations in the air into neural messages from auditory nerve, which allows the brain to interpret the sound
Information processing model
most comprehensive and most influential model; focuses on the way information is handled or processed though different systems of memory; encoding, storage, retrieval are all seen as part of this model
Parallel distributed processing
Focuses on memory as a simultaneous process; derived from work in the development of artificial intelligence; related to connectionism, the use of artificial neural networks to explain the mental abilities of humans
The first stage of memory, the point at which information enters the nervous system through the eyes and ears
Short-term/working memory
an incoming sensory message is important enough to enter consciousness; message moves from sensory memory to here; memories are held for 12-30 seconds; +/-7 item capacity
Long term memory
All information is placed to be kept more or less permanently; unlimited for all practical purposes
Selective attention
the ability to focus on only one stimulus from among all sensory input; allows information to enter the STM
Automatic encoding
not having to put effort into the information that is stored; time, frequency, and space; enters into LTM with no effortful encoding
Flashbulb encoding
Automatic encoding that occurs because an unexpected event has strong emotional associations for the person remembering it; become less complete over time
Encode space
place or location the event took place
Encode time
note the events that took place in the day
Encode frequency
keep track of things that happen to you
Effort Processing
Novel information
Serial position effect
Occurs when the first items and the last items in a list of information are recalled more efficiently than items in the middle of the list.
Semantic network model
concepts that are related in meaning are thought to be stored physically near each other in the brain rather than near objects that are not related
semantic networks
LTM memory is organized in the form of ____ ; nodes of related information spreading out from a central piece of knowledge
Iconic sensory memory
visual sensory memory; only last for a fraction of a second; pushed out very quickly by new information through masking; very important function in visual system is deciding if the information is important enough to be brought to the conscious
Eidetic Imagery memory
rare; the ability to access a visual sensory memory for a long period of time; more common in children & tends to go away by adolescence; not the same as photographic memory
Echoic Sensory Memory
the brief moment of something a person has heard; the “what” phenomenon; lasts 2-4 seconds and has smaller capacity than iconic memory
Taking information and putting it into meaningful units; organizing items into familiar manageable units; Acronyms are often used
Maintenance rehearsal
most effective way Information can be rehearsed enough until it becomes long term memory; used to memorize poem, multiplication facts, social security numbers; memory will stay in STM until rehearsal stops
Digit span
Miller led an experiment that refers to the number of items that a person can hold in working memory; +/-7 items or 3-5 bits if strategy is not used
Working memory
an active system that processes the information present in short term memory; consist of 3 interrelated systems; relates to storage and manipulation of information
Central exclusive
“CEO” “big boss” that controls and coordinates the other two systems; acts as a interpreter for both the visual and auditory information
Visual sketchpad
A dancer planning moves out in her head will not only visualize the moves but also be most likely to verbalize the moves in her head
Auditory recorder
a kind of auditory action “recorder”
Elaborative rehearsal
a way of transferring information from STM to LTM by making that information meaningful in some way; connecting new information with something that is already well known
Procedural/Implicit LTM
ability to re-perform skills, tasks, habits; procedural skills typically unaffected by amnesia; stored in cerebellum
Declarative / Explicit LTM
Semantic and Episodic; the more conscious and verbal memory; does not develop until after age 2; stored in frontal/temporal lobes but diff location than STM
Semantic memory
type of declarative LTM that describes general knowledge that anyone has the ability to know; most of this information is learned in school by reading; awareness of the meaning of words, concepts, terms, math skills
Episodic memory
type of declarative LTM that is the personal knowledge that each person has of his daily life and personal history; autobiography memory; certain birthdays, anniversaries because they represent episodes from their lives
Autobiographical memory
memory for facts and events related to one’s life; develop once children are able to talk about shared memories with adults
Context- dependent learning
When physical surroundings are encoded as retrieval cues for specific information; memories may be improved if the physical surroundings are applied when the person is trying to remember information
State- dependent learning
Memories formed in a particular psychological state will be easier to retrieve while in the similar state
Prefrontal cortex and temporal lobes
Short term memories are stored in ________
Procedural memories are stored in________
Frontal and temporal lobes (different location than STM)
Semantic and Episodic memories are associated with _______
Memories associated with fear are stored in _____
plays a vital role in the process of consolidating new long-term declarative memories
the person has to match an item or piece of information to a stored image or fact; multiple choice test
requires much more effort; one must retrieve information using greater effort with few external cues; fill in the blank question
Retrieval cues
words, sounds, meanings, and other stimuli that are encoded at the same time as a new memory; the more of these, the easier to remember
Misinformation Effect
refers to the tendency of people who are asked misleading questions or given misleading information to incorporate that information into their memories for a particular event
False positive
occurs when a person thinks that they have recognized something or someone but in fact does not have that something or someone on their memory; identifying a criminal unjustly in eyewitness testimonies
False memory
creation of inaccurate or false memories through the suggestion of others, often while the person is under hypnosis; created in the brain in much the same way as real memories are formed; false memories more likely to be accepted if they are plausible
Poor encoding / Encoding failure
Non-attended sensory information is not encoded into memory
Storage decay or disuse
Short-term stored memories that are not used/poor durability will decay; long-term memories will be disused and fade away
Retrieval failure
Although the information is retained in the memory it can not be accessed; “tip of the tough phenomena”
Forgetting curve
graph that clearly shows that forgetting happens quickly within the first hour after learning and tapers off gradually; forgetting is greatest just an hour within learning;
Proactive interference
the tendency for older previously learned material to interfere with the proactive learning of new material
Retroactive interference
When new information interferes with the retrieval of older information
Anterograde Amnesia
the loss of memories from the point of injury or illness forward; difficulty remembering anything new; most common in people with senile dementia (severe confusion and mental confusion)
Retrograde Amnesia
hippocampus is injured in accident and people are unable to recall even the accident itself; loss of memory from the point of injury backwards; consolidation of new memory gets disrupted and loses everything it was working on
Infantile Amnesia
due to the implicit nature of infant memory, most people cannot remember anything prior to age 2 or 3
the change that takes place in the structure of the brain when a memory is formed. Can take days to years to complete the process; interruption (like a seizure) results in total loss of the memory in process
Imagery method of Loci
method of memorizing information by placing each item to be remembered at a point along a familiar line
Levels of processing model
focuses on the depth of processing focusing on specific information; deeper processing, associated with longer retention