Memory Intro to Psychology Chapter 7 Memory Memory- retention of information over time. Kim Peek- the inspiration for the movie Rain Man, diagnosed with infantile autism. His IQ is 87 (average is 100), but he has memorized 12,000 books, the zip codes for every town in the U.S., entire phonebooks, and a variety of other info. He is also a calendar calculator- you can give him any past or future date and he can tell you the correct day of the week. He is an exception- most people with autism do not possess such specialized memory abilities. http://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/savant_syndrome/savant_profiles/kim_peek Exceptional Memory Some nonautistics possess exceptional memory as well. Rajan Mahadevan- Lectures in the psychology department at the University of Tennessee. Unlike Peek, he is normal emotionally. Memorized the number pi to 38,811 digits. Was spoofed on an episode of The Simpsons. Ironically, although he can memorize 38,000 digits, he could not remember where the men?s restroom was in the psych dept. of the University of Minnesota. Fallibility of Memory Memory can be surprisingly malleable and error prone. Suggestive memory techniques- procedures that encourage patients to recall memories that may or may not have taken place. Memory illusion- try the exercise on pg.276- a false but subjectively compelling memory Memory and Reconstruction Memories are far more reconstructive than reproductive. We actively reconstruct memories using cues and info, rather than passively reproducing them. However, 36% of people believe our brains contain perfect records of everything we have ever experienced (Alvarez & Brown, 2001). The 3 Systems of Memory 1) Sensory memory- briefly stores perceptual information before it is passed on to short-term memory. Iconic memory- visual sensory memory Last only a second and are gone forever. Echoic memory- auditory sensory memory Last as long as 5 or 10 seconds. Explains how students can take lecture notes 2) Short-term memory- memory system that retains information for limited durations. Also called working memory Short-term Memory Short-term memory is the place where information is either moved into long-term memory or thrown out all together. Duration- maximum is 20 seconds, could be as brief as 5 seconds. Capacity- the Magic Number is 7 plus or minus two. Memory loss from STM: Decay vs. Interference- decay is the fading of information from memory over time and interference is loss of information due to competing additional incoming information. Retroactive interference (inhibition)- when learning something new hampers earlier learning. Proactive interference (inhibition)- when earlier learning gets in the way of new learning. Ways to increase STM duration and capacity Chunking- organizing information into meaningful groups-helps expand our ability to learn things in the short term. Explains how Rajan memorized over 38,000 digits of pi. He memorized area codes, dates of events, and other meaningful numbers embedded w/in the list of pi digits. Ways to increase STM duration and capacity Rehearsal- repeating information to extend the duration of retention in short-term memory. Maintenance rehearsal- repeating stimuli in their original form to retain them in STM. Elaborative rehearsal- linking stimuli to each other in a meaningful way to improve retention of info in STM. Long-term Memory 3) Long-term memory- sustained retention of information stored regarding our facts, experiences, and skills. Duration- Years, even decades Permastore- type of LTM that appears to be permanent Capacity- HUGE (no one is sure exactly how huge) Some scientists believe a typical persons LTM may holds as much info as 500 complete sets of encyclopedias! Primacy effect- tendency to remember words at the beginning of a list especially well. Recency effect- tendency to remember words at the end of a list especially well. Long-term Memory Types of long-term memory: Explicit- memories we recall intentionally with conscious awareness Semantic- our knowledge of facts about the world Episodic- recollection of events Implicit- memories we don?t deliberately recall or reflect on consciously. Procedural- memory for how to do things Includes motor skills and habits. Priming- our ability to identify a stimulus more easily or quickly after we have already encountered similar stimuli 3 Stages of Memory Processes that explain how information gets into memory and gets back out again when we need it. Encoding- process of getting information into our memory banks. Many of our memory failures are the result of failed encoding. Mnemonic- a learning aid, strategy, or device that enhances recall by helping to encode memories in a way that makes them easier to recall. Storage- process of keeping information in memory. Schema- organized knowledge structure or mental model that we?ve stored in memory. Provide frames of reference for interpreting new situations. 3 Stages of Memory Retrieval- reactivation or reconstruction of experiences from our memory stores. Context dependant learning- superior retrieval of memories when the external context of the original memories matches the retrieval context State dependant learning- superior retrieval of memories then the organism is in the same physiological or psychological state as it was during encoding. Retrieval cues- hints that make it easier for us to recall information. Ways to Measure Memory: Recall- generating previously remembered information. Recognition- selecting previously remembered information from an array of options. Relearning- reacquiring knowledge that we have previously learned but largely forgotten. Biology of Memory Long-term potentiation- gradual strengthening of the connections among neurons from repetitive stimulation. Researchers believe that our ability to store memories depends of this. Amnesia: Retrograde- loss of memories from our past Anterograde- inability to encode new memories Memory deterioration- Researchers disagree on how much memory loss is normal as people get older. Dementia- severe memory loss Alzheimer?s- caused by abnormalities in the brain, including, enlargement of ventricles, loss of the cortex, and death of acetylcholine neurons in the basal forebrain. Memory loss begins with recent events, with memories in the distant past being the last to go. False Memories Flashbulb memories- emotional memories that are extraordinarily vivid and detailed. Source monitoring- ability to identify the origins of a memory. Misinformation effect- creation of fictitious memories by providing misleading information about an event after it takes place. Eyewitness testimony- ¾ of all prisoners acquitted by DNA testing were mistakenly identified by an eye-witness. 7 Sins of Memory 1) Suggestibility 2) Misattribution 3) Bias 4) Transience 5) Persistence 6) Blocking 7) Absentmindedness
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