You are on page 1of 99

COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY 1

A48CO

Maa Valkanou
psyonics@gmail.com
m.valkanou@hw.ac.uk

THE DISINTEGRATION OF THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY, 1952/54


SALVADOR DALI

WHAT IS MEMORY?
Greek myth first to describe
Mnemosyne
Titaness, daughter of Gaia & Uranus
mother of 9 muses (, ,
, , , ,
, & )
+ A goddess of time

Thinking task no 1.

Connection between MEMORY & TIME

Mnemosyne spring - remember

Lethe spring - forget

Mnemosyne
Inventress of language & words

Thinking task no 2.

Connection between MEMORY & LANGUAGE


Do we remember better:
Words?

Said?
Heard?
Written?
Iconic?

DEFINITION OF MEMORY
Memory is the process of maintaining information over time. (Matlin, 2005)

Memory refers both to the STRUCTURES and PROCESSES involved in the 3 aspects:
encoding, preserving and retrieval of information.
Key and essential for survival. Without a memory of the past, we cannot operate in the present or
think about the future

NO memory NO learning

One who doesn't remember is bound to live through it


again. ()
Memory regards
Encoding receiving, processing and combining
Storing

creation of permanent record

Retrieving recall or recognasation

Encoding -

information

our senses
reach

in the forms of chemical and physical stimuli.


Storage - maintaining information over periods of time.
Retrieval - locate it and return it to our consciousness.

HOW GOOD IS YOUR SHORT TERM


MEMORY
30 S TEST

DIFFERENT KINDS OF MEMORY

Sensory memory (visual, auditory, haptic), very brief


(MILIseconds)
Sensory memory holds sensory information for a part of a second after an item
is perceived. The ability to see (hear, touch, taste, smell) an item for just
enough to make it through to short term memory. It is out of cognitive control
and is an automatic response. Iconic 500ms average, 200-500 (1/5-1/2 s)

Short-term memory-small amounts of info for short intervals (up


to 30 seconds).
Rely mostly on an acoustic code for storing information, and to a lesser extent
a visual code. Conrad (1964) found that test subjects had more difficulty
recalling collections of letters that were acoustically similar (e.g. E, P, D).
(encoding of written text, generalisations to all forms of memory cant be made)
STM is stored and retrieved sequentially

Long-term memory *immeasurably large capacity


Stores much larger quantities of information for potentially unlimited
duration
Encodes information semantically. Baddeley - similar meanings (big, large,
great)
Episodic memory (part of long term) captures 'what', 'when' and 'where
LTM is stored and retrieved by association.

MEMORY IN THE BRAIN


Short-term memory:
frontal lobe
the parietal lobe
Long-term memory
permanent changes in
connections widely spread

neural

Hippocampus is essential
learning new information
consolidation of information
from short-term to long-term memory
Research: patient Henry Molaison after
removal of both his hippocampi

HOW DO WE STUDY MEMORY?

Brain damaged individuals


Experiments conducted in laboratories

Introspection

BRAIN DEMAGE
Neuropsychologists attempt to show that specific behavioural
deficits are associated with specific sites of brain damage

Thinking task no 3.

Problems?

FAMOUS CASES
CLIVE WEARING
& HENRY MOLAISON

Henry Molaison (1926 2008) (1st paper by Scoville and Brenda Milner in 1957)
had both his medial temporal lobes removed

severe anterograde amnesia: although his working memory and procedural


memory were intact, he could not commit new events to his explicit memory.

moderate retrograde amnesia, could not remember most events in the 12-year period
before surgery. He could learn new motor skills, despite not being able to remember
learning them. Studies of Molaison's ability to acquire new motor skills demonstrated
preserved motor learning.

book by his wife Deborah Wearing, titled


Forever Today: A Memoir of Love and Amnesia.

Clive Wearing (1938)

He is a British musicologist, conductor, tenor and keyboardist

Suffering from chronic anterograde amnesia, caused by a virus (47y)

Lacks the ability to form new memories and cannot recall aspects of his past memories

Unable to control emotions and associate memories

Because the hippocampus, an area required to transfer memories from short-term to


long-term memory is damaged, he is completely unable to form lasting new memories
his memory only lasts between 7 and 30 seconds

WHAT WOULD IT BE LIKE TO LIVE WITHOUT


MEMORY?
Relationships?
Communication?
Personality?
How is to live in the present?
Can you imagine what it's like one night 20 years long with no
dreams and no thoughts. My brain has been totally inactive, day
and night exactly the same. There's no difference between this
and death.

Clive Wearing

EXPERIMENTS CONDUCTED IN
LABORATORIES
Hermann Ebbinghaus 1885
Experimented on himself by testing his own ability to memorize lists of
randomly arranged syllables
Traced learning and forgetting curves
Investigated ability to memorize at different times of the day and
under different conditions

Thinking task no 3.
Low / high ecological validity

Problems?

NEISSER (1996)
Identified a crucial difference between
traditional memory studies and memory in
everyday life.
Participants in traditional memory studies are
motivated to be as accurate as possible in their
memory performance.
In contrast, memory in everyday life is
purposeful, is influenced by the individual and
situational demands
(e.g., description of party).

EXPERIMENT 1

You will be presented with a sequence of numbers, which will


appear in the centre of the screen at one second intervals.

When you see the word NOW appear, write the numbers
down in the same order as they were presented (serial recall).

HOW DID YOU DO?


594728613
Miller (1956)
the magical number 7 +/- 2
on average, the capacity of STM
is between 5 and 9 items of
information

PROFESSOR ALEXANDER AITKEN

University of Edinburgh Mathematics professor


Worked on the Enigma code
Recall to the first 1000 decimal places the value of pi

TRY AGAIN
Try the experiment again, this
time with letters as stimuli,
writing them down in the same
order as they were presented
(serial recall), when you see the
word NOW appear.

DIFFICULT, ISNT IT?

TBKRHSPAQ

EXPERIMENT 2

Lets try a bit more and see what happens

When you see the word NOW appear on the screen, write down
as many of the letters as you can remember, in the same order
as they were presented (serial recall).

THE OTHER WAY

You will be presented with a line of 17 letters across the centre of


the screen which will appear for approximately 10 seconds.

When you see the word NOW appear on the screen, write down
as many of the letters as you can remember, in the same order
as they were presented (serial recall).

DIFFICULT, WASNT IT?

GCEBTECGCSEGNVQAS

You probably found that you remembered between 5 and 9


items, digits or letters, on each trial, in line with Millers (1954)
findings.

Now try it again.

NOW
GCEBTECGCSEGNVQAS

YOU PROBABLY DID BETTER THIS TIME WHY MIGHT THIS BE?
Miller (1956) found that the capacity of STM
could be considerably increased by combining, or
organising, separate bits of information, e.g.
letters or digits, into larger chunks.
The process of chunking involves the imposition
of meaning, through organising the To-BeRemembered-Material (TBRM), in line with
existing knowledge - in this case, of qualifications.
Armed with your new-found knowledge, write down
your answers when the numbers NOW appear.

190019141918193919452000

1 9 0 0 1 9 1 4 1 9 1NOW
8193919452000

HOW DID YOU DO THIS TIME?


Based on existing knowledge of the two World
Wars of the 20th century, you might have
been able to reorganise these 24 bits of
information into 2 CHUNKS, i.e.:
1 The dates of the two World Wars, 1914-1918
and 1939-1945;
2 the beginning and end of the 20th century,
1900 and 2000.

FREE RECALL

Free recall is where the items can be recalled in any order.

Write down as many of the following words as you can remember


(in any order).

Pencil
Banana
Chimney
Market
Cloud
Boots
Teabag
Book
Daisy
Umbrella

Hamster
Leaf
Money
Heart
Butter
Chair
Mascara
Noodles
Stamps
Notebook

FREE RECALL: SERIAL POSITION


CURVE

Recency

Primacy

FREE RECALL

Primacy Effect: Items at the beginning of the list remembered


more often than items in the middle

Recency Effect: Items at the end of the list remembered more


often than items in the middle

PRIMACY & RECENCY EFFECTS


EXPLAINED

Primacy: Beginning items in ltm (long term store) but no longer in


stm (short term store)

Recency: End items still in stm

Thinking task no 4.

Can memory be improved?

Ebbinghaus (1885)
Improving Memory
Total Time Hypothesis

IMPROVING MEMORY
TOTAL TIME HYPOTHESIS

Thinking task no 5.

Distributed practice (spaced repetition)


OR
Massed practice (fewer & longer training sessions)

MASSED VS DISTRIBUTED PRACTICE


Baddeley & Longham (1978)

1. MASSED VS DISTRIBUTED
PRACTICE
Baddeley & Longham (1978)
teaching postmen how to type using a new
system on a typewriter
4 Schemes: Each day
1 session of 1 hour
2 sessions of 1 hour each
1 session of 2 hours
2 sessions of 2 hours each

the postmen who were taught using shorter


sessions stretched over multiple days learned
the material better & ended up with more
accurate and quicker typing

WHAT DO YOU NOTICE ABOUT


THESE WORDS?
Jordan

Plumber
Elephant

Electrician
Potato
Cow

Carrot

Paul

Tiger
Stephen
Tomato
Lecturer
Giraffe
Vet
Turnip
Terry

2. ORGANISATION
Categorical Clustering
Bousfield (1953)
Group 1: 60 words
15 animals
15 boys names
15 jobs
15 vegetables

Group 2: 60
unrelated words

Result: Group 1 better recall

3. VISUAL IMAGERY

Mnemonics
Various techniques used to increase chances of remembering

The Pegword Method


Create an image of memory with another set of ordered cues

Create an easily recalled list of nouns (the ordered Cues)

Then picture each memory interacting with one of the nouns

THE PEGWORD METHOD

one-bun
two-shoe
three-tree
four-door
five-hive
six-sticks
seven-heaven
eight-gate
nine-mine
ten-hen

TECHNIQUE OF INTERACTING IMAGES


An important element in the method of loci is interactive imagery .
One item will help you remember another if they are linked
(interacting).
Bower (1970)
-Paired-associate learning (e.g. goat/pipe)
-Imagery better than non-imagery
-Interacting images better than non-interacting images
Wollen, Weber and Lowry (1972) compared bizarre versus ordinary.
Both groups equal. Also compared interacting and non-interacting
images.
Bower confirmed - interacting images produced superior recall

93

Thinking task no 6.

WHY
Are interacting images better than
non-interacting images?

Why do visual images improve memory?

Dual code hypothesis (Pavio, 1969)

Memory contains two distinct coding systems:


-verbal (abstract, linguistic meaning)
-Imagery (mental pictures)
Having two codes improves memory over having only a single code

Pavio (1965)
- Four lists of noun pairs
CC: both words concrete objects (e.g. book/table)
CA: one concrete, the second abstract (e.g. chair/justice)
AC: reverse of previous pair (e.g. freedom/dress)
AA: both abstract (e.g. beauty/truth)

Results:
CC = 71%, CA = 63%, AC = 46%, AA = 38%
Interpretation
-People spontaneously make images for concrete
nouns
-Imagery varies with concreteness
-Concrete nouns are dual coded whereas abstract
nouns are only coded verbally
-First noun in the pair acts as a conceptual peg on
which the second noun is hooked. Thus
imaginability of the first noun is critical
(explains CA/AC difference)

Results:
AC = 46%
CA = 63%
AA =
38%

CC = 71%

JUSTICE

CC: both words concrete objects (e.g. book/table)


CA: one concrete, the second abstract (e.g.
book/justice)
AC: reverse of previous pair (e.g. justice/book)
AA: both abstract (e.g. justice/truth)

JUSTICE

TRUTH

READING

Baddeley. Your memory a users guide. Chapters 1,2 & 14.

Eyseneck, Psychology an International Perspective, Chapter 9 pp 291-296; 322-323.

Baddeley, Essentials of Human Memory, pp 71-76, Chapter 14.