Memory Examples Memory factors and performance Memory errors – eyewitness testimony Understanding memory Ability to retain or reactivate

past experience, thoughts, images and ideas Content and process We rely on a set of complex processes to learn, understand and retain Three important aspects: Structure of the information processing system (connections between data and stored knowledge) Organization of information and its link with processing Different ways of encoding and remembering and their practical implications Memory Processes Transformation Reduction Elaboration Recovery Retrieval Reconstruction The information processing approach IPA Important in the development of models of processes and stages involved in human learning and memory The computer metaphor Major characteristics of IPA

Analysis of information into stages Limited capacity assumption Control mechanisms Two way flow of information The fundamental memory system Attkinson and Shiffirin model Processes and stages of memory Types of memory Sensory memory (SM), Short term memory (STM), Long term memory (LTM) Sensory memory The first system involved in the memory process Example: Listening to a language one is not very familiar with Persists for very brief periods (1-2 sec) after the stimulus has been removed Iconic and echoic sensory memory (bulk of research) Sounds tend to reverberate for a while longer Linked to pattern recognition and feature extraction (selectivity) Pattern recognition and two way flow of information Sperling’s (1960) work on iconic memory Sensory memory: Some aspects Duration Attention and limited capacity    Broadbent’s theory of attention The ‘cocktail Party’ phenomenon Shadowing experiments

Unattended messages are processed for meaning

Evidence that stages of memory are not sharply distinguished What happens if traces did remain in sensory storage much longer? (distinctiveness of experience)

Short term memory (STM) Traditionally thought to be the intermediate stage between SM and LTM Duration: About 30 sec We are aware of the content of STM consciously Immediate memory Working memory A distinction is made between STM and LTM (issue) Researchers have described a syndrome in brain damaged patients (hippocampus damage): They remember things they knew before the injury and they can remember something new as long as they keep rehearsing it. Cannot store in LTM. STM… Evidence for a distinction between LTM and STM comes from studies in free recall Representing the pattern of recall as a serial position curve Recall of a word depends on its position in the list Primacy and recency effects The recency effect fades out if retention is delayed even by few seconds (last few items in the list were in the STM. Ex: Telephone number in STM The serial position curve STM… Working memory: Baddeley and Hitch Tripartite system: The central executive and two Phonological loop Visio spatial sketchpad Episodic buffer (later added) slave systems

Work bench analogy Acoustic coding Chunking: Regrouping Retrieval from STM: Exhaustive serial search The magical number seven Working memory Long term memory Duration: Few minutes to …. Capacity: Very large Information reaching LTM is processed deeply enough Distinction between availability and accessibility Accessibility: We can get the information when we require it – retrieval Retrieval from LTM – Tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon (Brown and Mcneil, 1966) – search through memory is not random; information is organized LTM: Information regarding words, ideas, concepts, meanings, relations, events, life experiences and more Representation of information Dual coding theory Two separate but interconnected systems or codes: semantic code Shift from images to meaning Levels of processing approach Semantic and episodic (eyewitness testimony) Declarative and procedural Retrospective and prospective Representation of information Reconstructive memory and schemas A system of visual images and a verbal or

Schemas explain efficiency of memory as well as errors of memory Context effects Encoding specificity principle State dependent memory Forgetting The temporal course of forgetting: Ebbinghaus’s retention curve The retention curve is classic in the field of memory CVC type nonsense syllables Relearning and savings method Decelerated drop in the curve during first few hours Gentle slope of the curve towards the end Do effects of past learning persist indefinitely? Forgetting Trace dependent Cue dependent Three theoretical approaches: Consolidation Decay Interference (proactive and retroactive interference; response competition and unlearning) Emotional factors in forgetting: Rehearsal Anxiety Repression

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