Chapter 6: Memory

an active system that
receives information from the senses, puts that information into a usable form, organizes
it as it stores it away, and then retrieves the information from storage
The first process in the memory system is to get sensory information (sight, sound, etc.) into a form that the brain can use
to hold on to the information for some period of time
getting the information they know they have out of storage
Information-processing model
focuses on the way
information is handled, or processed, through three different systems of
memory. Includes encoding, storage, and retrieval.
Parallel distributed processing model
derived from work in the development of artificial intelligence. Also related to connectionism
levels of processing model
assumes information that is more “deeply processed,” or processed according to its meaning rather than just the sound or physical characteristics of the word or words, will be remembered more efficiently and for a longer period of time.
Sensory memory
the first stage of memory, the point at which information enters the nervous system through the sensory systems—eyes, ears, and so on
visual sensory memory
brief memory of something a person has heard
George Sperling
studied Iconic memory
Eidetic imagery
ability to access a visual sensory memory over a long period of time.
information that has just entered iconic memory will be pushed out very
quickly by new information
Short term memory
If an incoming sensory message is important enough to enter consciousness, that message will move from sensory memory to the next stage of memory which is held for 12-30 seconds without rehearsal
Selective attention
ability to focus on only one stimulus from among all sensory input. Broadbent
If you’ve ever been at a party where there’s a lot of noise and several conversations going on in the background but you are still able to notice when someone says your name, you have experienced
Working memory
an active system that processes the information present in short-term memory
George Miller
wanted to know how much information humans can hold in short-term memory at any one time
This process of recoding or reorganizing the information
Maintenance Rehearsal
saying something they want to remember over and over again in their heads can help them remember it longer
Long term memory
the system into which all the information is placed to be kept more or less permanently.
Elaborative Rehearsal
a way of transferring
information from STM into LTM by making that information meaningful
in some way
Nondeclarative (implicit)
Long term Memories for things that people know how to do. (procedural)
Declarative (Explicit)
Long term memories about all the things that people can know—the facts and information that make up knowledge.
Semantic Memory
Kind of declarative memory learned from school (facts, etc)
Episodic Memory
Declarative memories that represent episodes from our lives.
Semantic Network Model
suggests that information is stored in
the brain in a connected fashion with related concepts physically close to each other
process of pulling out memories from LTM
Retrieval Cue
stimulus that aids in the process of remembering
Encoding Specificity
the tendency for memory of any kind of information to be improved if retrieval conditions are similar to the conditions under which the information was encoded
memories are retrieved with few or no external cues, such as filling in the blanks on an application form
involves looking at or hearing information and matching it to what is already in memory.
Serial Position Effect
information at the beginning and end of a list is more likely to
be remembered than the information in the middle.
Primacy Effect
the fact that the
first few words, when the listener has nothing
already in STM to interfere with their
rehearsal, will receive far more rehearsal time
than the words in the middle,
Recency Effect
the last word or two was just heard and is still
in short-term memory for easy retrieval,
False positive
occurs when someone recognizes a piece of information as a memory even though it did not
Elizabeth Loftus
Her focus has been on
the accuracy of recall of memories—or rather, the inaccuracies of memory retrieval. SHe showed this through the 8 demonstrators showed in a video and placed 4 and 12 in the questionnaires.
Automatic Encoding
to describe the memory
process when we aren’t actively paying attention to the information
Flashbulb memory
a specific type of automatic encoding that occurs when an unexpected and often emotional event occurs.
Constructive Processing
In this view, memories are literally “built,” or reconstructed, from the
information stored away during encoding.
Misinformation Effect
false information presented after an event influences the memory of that event.
Hindsight Bias
This tendency of people to falsely believe that they would have accurately predicted an outcome without having been told about it in advance
false memory syndrome
the creation of inaccurate or false memories through the suggestion of others, often while the person is under hypnosis
brad Williams
Human Google
Jill Price
Woman who remembers all the details of her life
Hermann Ebbinghaus
One of the first researchers to study forgetting
Curve of forgetting
This graph clearly shows that forgetting happens quickly within the first
hour after learning the lists and then tapers off gradually
Distributed Practice
spacing out one’s study sessions will produce a better retrieval of information
Encoding Failure
the failure to process sensory information into memory
Memory Trace
some physical change in the brain, perhaps in a neuron or in the activity between neurons, which occurs when a memory is formed
if memory traces are not used, they will fade
if information in LTM are not used, they will fade.
Proactive interference
occurs when information from the past disrupts newly learned
Retroactive interference
Occurs when the newly learned information interferes with the memories of the past
This alteration and the other changes that take place as a memory is
forming are called ____.
a man who was experimented on to prove the function of the hippocampus.
Retrograde Amnesia
loss of memory from the point of injury backwards
used to treat severe depression
Anterograde Amnesia
loss of memories from the point of injury or illness forward
Alzheimer’s disease
the primary memory problem, at least in the beginning, is anterograde amnesia. Memory loss may be rather mild at first but becomes more severe over time, causing the person to become more and more forgetful about everyday tasks.
Infantile Amnesia
The type of memory that exists in the first few years of life, when a child is still considered an infant. Memories in these times tend to be implicit and is harder to bring to consciousness.
Autobiographical Memory
memory for events
and facts related to one’s personal life story.