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REMEMBERING AND

FORGETTING
MBChB. I LECTURE

Dr. RACHEL KANGETHE


PSYCHIATRY
DEPARTMENT
UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI

REFERENCES
The African Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry
and Mental Health by David Ndetei et al
Developmental Psychology textbook by Dr. John
T. PHIRI
Myers Psychology Textbook, (7th Ed ): James
A. McCubbin, PhD, Clemson University, Worth
Publishers
Introduction to Psychology : Kellogg
Community College, Talbot, chapter 7

Lecture Overview
1.The Nature of Memory
2.Stages of Memory
3.Encoding Information into Memory
4.Retrieving Information from Memory

5.Forgetting Theories
6.Using Psychology to Improve Our
Memory
7.Study Skills for Medical Students

MEMORY
Memory is an important part of what
makes us truly human.
Memory is our ability to encode, store,
retain and subsequently recall information
and past experiences in the human brain.
1. Encoding- processing of information
into the memory system.
2. Storage-retention of encoded material
over time.
3. Retrieval-process of getting the
information out of memory storage.

Description of Four Memory


Models
1. Information Processing Approach:
memory is a process analogous to a
computer, which encodes, stores
and retrieves information.
2. Parallel Distributed Processing
Model: memory is distributed across
a network of interconnected units that
work simultaneously (in a parallel
fashion) to process information.

3. Levels of Processing Approach:


memory depends on the
degree or depth of mental
processing occurring when material
is initially encountered.
4. Traditional Three-Stage
Memory Model: memory requires
three different storage boxes to
hold and process information for
various lengths of time.

Stages of Memory
1.

Sensory Memory

2.

Short-Term Memory

3.

Long-Term Memory

Memory Organizational Chart

FIGURE 7.2: Introduction to Psychology : Kellogg Community College, Talbot, chapter 7

Sensory
Input
Sensory
Memory

Sensory Memory Store


1st stage of memory; forms automatically,
without attention or interpretation
Capacity - large
can hold many items at once
Function - holds information long enough to
Sensory
be processed for basic physical
characteristics
Input
Types - divided into two subtypes:
iconic memory visual information/fleeting
mental image or visual representation
Sensory
echoic memory - auditory information
Memory
Duration - very brief retention of images
0.3 sec for visual info
2 sec for auditory info
Selected information is sent on to shortterm memory. Attention is needed to
transfer information to short-term/working
memory

Short-Term Memory (STM) /Working


Memory Store
Attention
Sensory
Input
Sensory
Memory

Working or
Short-term
Memory

Short-Term Memory (STM) /Working


Memory
* 2 stage of memory; also
nd

called working memory;


* Stores small bits of
information briefly;
* STM mostly stores information
by sound i.e. phonetically
* Very sensitive to
interruption/interference
* STM Memory Span: STM
holds 7+/- 2 information bits

i.e. 5-9 items for about 30


seconds before they are
forgotten.
* STM temporarily stores
sensory information and
decides whether to send it on
to long-term memory
(LTM).

STORING INFORMATION IN STM

* Recoding: Reorganizing or modifying


information in STM
* Maintenance Rehearsal:
Repeating information silently to
prolong its presence in STM

* Elaborative Rehearsal: Links new


information & existing memories
/knowledge in LTM; Good way to
transfer STM information into LTM

* Chunk: Meaningful units of information


in memory.
STM
capacity can be increased with
chunking and duration improves with
maintenance rehearsal.

-Long-Term Memory
(LTM)
Relatively
permanent
memory storage;
virtually limitless
capacity /Stored
on basis of
meaning and
importance. LTM
improved with:Organization;
rehearsal; retrieval
cues; recognition

Maintenance Rehearsal

Encoding
Attention
Sensory
Input
Sensory
Memory

Working or
Short-term Long-term
memory
Memory
Retrieval

E x p li c i t M e m o r y
Subtypes of Explicit Memory

E p is o d ic M e m o r y
Memory tied to personal
experiences
Examples:
what did you have for
dinner?
do you like to eat apples?
Why are these explicit
memories?
Because you can actively
declare your answers to these
questions

S e m a n t ic M e m o r y
*Memory not tied to personal
events
*General facts/definitions of
world
Examples:
who was George
Washington?
what is a cloud?
what is climate at north
pole?
*These are explicit memories
cos you can describe what you
know about them. Unlike
episodic memories, your

Implicit Memory/Nondeclarative
I m p memory
li c i t M e m o r y
Subtypes of Implicit
C la s s ic a l
P rMemory
o c e d u ra l
P r im in g
C o n d it io n in g
M e m o ry

Implicit because it
is automatically

Memory that
enables specific
learned skills or
habitual responses
performance
E.g.- Riding bike
*memories implicit?
- Cant readily
describe contents
-automatically
retrieved when
appropriate

*Priming is influence
of one memory on
another
*priming is implicit
cos it does not
depend
on
ELAF
= LEAF
awareness,
it s
Why
not
automatic
respond
FLEA?
Because
flower parts
were primed
(flower
power)

Comparison of 3 Stages of Memory


Sensory
1. Large capacity
2. Contains
sensory
information
3. Very brief
retention (1/2
sec for visual; 2
secs for
auditory)

Short Term
1. Limited
capacity
2. Acoustically
encoded
3. Brief storage
(up to 30
seconds w/o
rehearsal)
4. Conscious
processing of
information

Long Term
1.Unlimited
capacity
2.Semantically
encoded
3.Storage
presumed
permanent
4.Information highly
organized

Diagram of Three-Stage
Memory Model

Biological Bases of Memory

Where are memories located?


Memory tends to be localized and distributed
throughout the brain.
Engram - Memory trace in the brain.
Biological changes in neurons facilitate
memory through long-term potentiation (LTP),
in two ways:
1. The brain stores information in memory sites
by establishing structural links between
synapses (connection between neurons or brain
cells) -repeated stimulation of a synapse
strengthens the synapse, and
2. neurons ability to release its
neurotransmitters is increased or decreased.

The 4 Lobes of the Cerebral


Cortex
Occipital
Lobes

Parietal
Lobe

Temporal
Lobes

Frontal
Lobes

-at the back


of the head
-Visual
cortex

-at the top of


the brain
-Somatosensory
cortex
-pressure,
touch, pain

-at the sides


of the brain
-Auditory
cortex
-memory,
perception,
emotion,
language

-toward the
front of the
brain
-Motor
cortex
-voluntary
movement
of muscles
19

Memory Structures:
Hippocampus along with amygdala integrates
sensory information.
Hippocampus is important in organizing
sensory and cognitive information into a
memory and it is important in organizing
sensory and cognitive information into a
memory Hippocampus associated with
information passing from short-term memory
into LTM.
Hippocampus lesion causes inability to form
new memories
Amygdala important in emotional memory
Hormones also affect memory (e.g., flashbulb
memories--vivid and lasting images are
associated with surprising or strongly emotional
events).

Recent studies suggest that repeated


bouts of jet lag may cause harm to the
temporal lobe, an area of the brain
important to memory, causing it to shrink
in size, and compromising performance on
spatial memory tests.
It is thought that stress hormones, such
as cortisol, released by the body during
times of stress (such as the sleep
disturbance, general stress and fatigue
caused by long flights) are responsible for
this impairment of memory and other
mental skills.

Loss of Memory
Anterograde amnesia: the inability to form
new explicit long-term memories for events
following brain trauma or surgery. Explicit
memories formed before are left intact. Cause
possibly is damage to hippocampus
Retrograde amnesia: the disruption of
memory for the past, especially episodic
memory. After brain trauma or surgery, there
often is retrograde amnesia for events
occurring just before.
Infantile/child amnesia: the inability as
adults to remember events that occurred in
our lives before about 3 years of age. Due
possibly to fact that hippocampus is not fully
developed.

Biology and Memory Loss:


Injury and Disease
Amnesia: (memory
loss from brain injury
or trauma)
Retrograde amnesia
(old memories lost)
Anterograde
amnesia (new
memories lost)

Encoding Information into


Memory
Types of Processing
Automatic processing: memory
processing that occurs
subconsciously and does not require
attention.
Effortful processing: memory
processing that occurs consciously
and requires attention

Factors Affecting
Encoding specificity
principle: the principle
Encoding

that the environmental cues present at the time


information is encoded into long-term memory
serve as the best retrieval cues for the information.
State-dependent memory: long-term memory
retrieval is best when a persons physiological
state at the time of encoding and retrieval is the
same.
Mood-dependent memory: long-term memory
retrieval is best when a persons mood state at the
time of encoding and retrieval is the same.
Mood-congruence effect: long-term memory
retrieval is best for experiences and information
that are congruent with a persons current mood .

Retrieving Information from


Memory

Measuring Retrieval
Recall: a measure of long-term memory retrieval
that requires the reproduction of the information
with essentially no retrieval cues.
Recognition: a measure of long-term memory
retrieval that only requires the identification of the
information in the presence of retrieval cues.
Relearning: the savings method of measuring
long-term memory retrieval, in which the measure is
the amount of time saved when learning information
for the second time.

Forgetting Theories

Decay/Role of time
Encoding failure
Interference theories
Motivated Forgetting
Retrieval Failure

Why Do We Forget? Five Key


Theories
1. Decay Theory: memory
degrades with time.
Forgetting
due to decay in storage? Storage decay theory proposes
that forgetting is due to the decay of physical traces of the
information in the brain; periodically using the information
helps to maintain it in the brain. Use it or lose it
theory!
2. Encoding Failure: information in STM is not encoded
in
LTM. Forgetting Due to Encoding Failure? Encoding failure
theory proposes that forgetting is due to failure to encode
information into LTM.

Why Do We Forget? Five Key Theories


(cont)
3. Interference Theory: memory competes
or interferes
with others. Forgetting due to interference?
Interference
theory proposes that forgetting is due to other
information in memory interfering
*Proactive interference: old information
interferes with
the retrieval of newly-stored information
*Retroactive Interference: newly-stored

Improving Memory

Some Ways to Improve Memory


Knowledge of Results: Feedback allowing you to check your
progress
Recitation: Summarizing aloud while you are learning
Rehearsal: Reviewing information mentally (silently)
Selection: Selecting most important concepts to memorize
Organization: Organizing difficult items into chunks; a type of
reordering
Whole Learning: Studying an entire package of information at
once, like a poem
Part Learning: Studying subparts of a larger body of
information (chapters)
Progressive Part Learning: Breaking learning task into a
series of short sections
Serial Position Effect: Making most errors while remembering
middle of the list
Overlearning: Studying is continued beyond bare master

Using Psychology to Improve Our


Memory

1.
2.
3.
4.
4.
5.
7.
8.

Pay attention and reduce interference.


Use rehearsal techniques.
Improve your organization.
Counteract the serial position effect.
Manage your time.
Use the encoding specificity principle.
Employ self-monitoring and overlearning.
Mnemonics: Memory tricks; any kind of memory
system or aid. Use mnemonic devices (e.g., method
of loci, peg-word, substitute word, word associations).
- Using mental pictures
- Making things meaningful
- Making information familiar
- Forming bizarre, unusual or exaggerated mental
associations

Study Skills for Medical


Students

Time Management
As a doctor, one needs to do lots of
things!- see patients, teach, learn,
read, leadership roles, community,
exercise, keep friends and family.
Give up the idea that you are a
student.
You are a professional DOCTOR in
training.
Practice using your time WISELY!

Final goal
Pass
Pace yourself like a long distance
runner- practice, practice and practice
to build up endurance
Each hour in class- spend two hours
outside of class
Take INTERNAL control of your time
Beware Ns and Ps- management by
crisis!

Long term
memory

Break it down into small


pieces
DAILY routine of memory
reinforcement
Guard against
procrastination

Common causes of academic difficulty

Time Management
issues
travel, family, friends,
other activities
Material management
issues
not preparing, no
daily reinforcement
no CONSCIOUS
system of study
no own notes
Mental Health issues
depression, LD, ADHD

Tips for optimal learning

1. Create a schedule and follow it


2. It is your best friend
3. Skim read/ pre read
generate questions, new
terms, charts, graphs,
compare/contrast data
4. Attend lecture
5. Sit in the front, away from
distraction, good lighting
6. Analyze data
7. Memorize- see, hear, say,
apply, teach
8. Mnemonics for physical objects
courses ( Funny ones)
9. Flash cards
10. Create your OWN flow charts,
compare/contrast

Schedule construction

When are you most alert? AM, PM?


How much sleep do you need?
Do you need large blocks of
uninterrupted time for work?
Do you need a break after 1-1.5 hrs?
How long a break, what to do then?
When do you study alone?
With others?

Study sandwich
Put in the difficult subject
between two slices of easy ones
Do not fall behind- if you do,
catch up on the weekend
Work on the most current
material first
To kill time is to murder your
chances for success

More tips

1. Stay with one topic for at


least 1.5 hours
2. Work with related material
3. Intersperse difficult
subjects with easy ones
4. Use your highest energy
time for the most difficult
subject
5. Volunteer to teach in your
group this topic
6. Taking notes
Ear to hand
One sided; Leave other side
of page for text book notes,
study group notes-differ color
Leave large margins for
LABELING

Time Accountability
Time log for sensors
Use a 15 mt block daily calendar
pay attention to your natural rhythms

Time pie- weekly pattern of time use


for Ns and Ps- like chunks of time
Using both is IDEAL for both groups
First create a personal time pie