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Do we have a 'memory' or something more complex?
It is more complex. We don't have a memory, we have memory systems.
It is often defined as the storage and retrieval of information acquired through learning.
What is Encoding?
It is the process of converting information into a usable form or 'code' so that it can enter and be stored in memory.
What is Retrieval?
It is the process of locating and recovering the stored information from memory so that we are consciously aware of it.
How are models used to explain human memory?
They are used to represent, describe and explain memory and its components and processes.
What other names were given to the Atkinson-Shiffrin model and why?
It was called the Modal Model because it was representative of many similar models that were proposed at that time.
Explain the Atkinson-Shiffrin multi-store model of memory.
It represents memory as consisting of three distinguishable components called the sensory register, the short-term store and the long-term store.
Explain what figure 6.5 shows.
It shows the connections between the three components and that information can be lost from each.
How does rehearsal affect memories in the short-term store?
It makes them stronger once they are transferred to the long-term store.
Explain Structural Features of memory.
They are the permanent, built-in, fixed features of memory that do not vary from one situation to another.
Explain Control Processes of memory.
They are selected and used by each individual and may vary across different situations.
What other names were given to the short-term store?
Short-Term Memory; Short-Term Working Memory or simply Working Memory.
Define Sensory Memory.
It is the entry point of memory where new incoming sensory information is stored for a very brief period of time.
What do they mean by likening sensory memory as a buffer?
They make the comparison because just like a buffer in a computer, it is a temporary memory area designed so that the computer or brain can decide what of it is important and needs to be attended to.
What is Iconic Memory?
The term is used to describe visual sensory memory; that is, the brief sensory information for incoming visual information.
Briefly explain Sperling's study on Iconic Memory.
He showed participants slides of letters for only 1/20th of a second and then asked them to recall as many as they could. They could usually only answer with 4 or 5 because by the time they had, the image had faded from their iconic memory.
What is Echoic Memory?
The term is used to describe auditory sensory memory; that is, the brief sensory memory for incoming auditory information.
What happens to sensory memories if they are attended to?
The memories, once attended to, are transferred to the short-term memory.
Define Short-Term Memory (S.T.M.).
It is a memory system with a limited storage capacity in which information is stored for a relatively short period of time, unless renewed in some way.
What is the duration of STM?
The duration is on average 12 to 18 seconds but can linger for up to 30 seconds, unless the information is renewed in some way.
What is the capacity of STM?
It has a very limited storage capacity. Some estimates put it between 5 and 9 bits of information.
Explain how decay and displacement affect short-term memory.
Decay is when information fades out of STM with the passage of time whereas Displacement is when STM is full and information needs to be pushed out for new information to be accepted.
What is Working Memory?
The term is used to emphasise the active part of memory where information we are consciously aware of is actively 'worked on' in a variety of ways.
Explain how working memory manipulates sensory and long term memories.
It brings in sensory memory that needs to be processed and long term memories that can be used to process those memories.
What is Chunking?
It is the grouping, or 'packing' of separate bits of information into a larger single unit or 'chunk' of information.
How does Chunking affect the capacity of STM?
It can increase the capacity because chunks only occupy one slot of STM.
What is rehearsal?
It is the process of consciously manipulating information to keep it in STM, to transfer it to LTM or to aid storage and retrieval.
Explain Maintenance Rehearsal.
It involves repeating the information being remembered over and over again so that the information can be retained (or maintained) in STM.
Explain Elaborative Rehearsal.
It is the process of linking new information in a meaningful way to way with other new information or information already stored in LTM to aid in its storage and retrieval from LTM.
What is the self-reference effect?
It is when we relate new information to personal experiences and our personal situation in some way, we are more likely to remember it.
What does Craik and Lockhart's levels of processing framework propose?
It proposes that the level, or 'depth' at which we process information during learning determines how well it is stored in LTM.
Explain Shallow and Deep Processing.
Shallow processing is directly describing an object, whereas Deep processing may be linking in to the meaning of the object. For example you could describe an Apple as small in red, which would be shallow, or as a means to keep the doctor away, which is deep.
How can you process new information at a deep level?
Make sure you understand the information by restating it in your own words.
Actively question new information.
Think about the potential applications and implications of the material.
Relate the new material to information you already know, searching for connections that make the new information more meaningful.
Generate your own examples of the concept, especially examples from your own experience.
How does Baddeley and Hitch's model explain the structure and function of working memory?
It describes the structure and function of working memory in terms of three components called the Phonological Loop, the Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad and the Central Executive.
Define and explain the Phonological Loop.
It temporarily stores a limited amount of verbal speech-like information such as the sounds of words ('phonemes'), for a brief period of time.
Define and explain the Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad.
It temporarily stores a limited amount of visual and spatial information for a brief time.
Define and Explain the Central Executive.
The Central Executive (C.E.) controls attention; intergrates information from the phonological loop and visuo-spatial sketchpad, as well as information retrieved from LTM; and coordinates the flow of information between the working memory system and LTM. The main function of the CE is to manipulate this information, making it the working part of working memory.
What is the episodic buffer?
It is a sub-system of working memory that enables the different componets of working memory to interact with LTM.
Define Long-Term Memory (L.T.M.)
It is the relatively permanent memory system that holds vast amounts of information for a long time, possibly indefinitely.
What are Retrieval Cues?
We retrieve information from LTM using Retrieval Cues much the same way as we use a call number to locate a book in the library or use the 'find' function on a computer.
How does LTM primarily store information compared to STM?
STM stores the physical qualities of an experience such as sight and hearing, whereas LTM stores the semantic information, that is, what the experience meant.
Explain Procedural Memory.
It is the memory of actions and skills that have been learned previously and involves knowing 'how to do something'. For example, the ability to ride a bike would be stored in procedural memory, as would the ability to type.
Explain Declarative Memory.
It is the memory of specific facts or events that can be brought into conscious awareness and explicitly stated or 'declared' (unless retrieval fails). For example the information for identifying types of flowers would be stored in declarative memory, as would the events that happened in a movie. Also known as explicit memory.
Explain the two subdivisions of declarative memory.
Episodic Memory is the declarative memory of specific events or personal experiences, whereas Semantic Memory is the declarative memory of information we have about the world.
How is information stored in LTM?
One way that information is stored in LTM is in meaningful clusters of related categories.
Another way that it is stored is linked or associated with other information stored in LTM.
What does the semantic network theory propose?
It proposes that information in LTM is organised systematically in the form of overlapping networks of concepts that are interconnected and interrelated by meaningful links. According to this model, each concept, called a node, is linked with a number of other nodes.
My own example of how one concept would activate other nodes.
My computer stops working so I start thinking about footballs.
What is the serial position effect?
It is a finding that free recall is better for items at the end and beginning of the list than for items in the middle of the list.
Explain the Primacy and Recency Effects.
The Primacy Effect describes superior recall of items at the beginning of a list, whereas the Recency Effect describes superior recall of items at the end of a list.
Summarise what Eric Kandel discovered about what happens to neurons when learning takes place.
Increase in amount of neurotransmitter; Structure of the neuron changes, more axons and dendrites; New synaptic connections.
What is Long Term Potentiation?
It refers to the long-lasting strengthening of synaptic connections of neurons result in in the enhanced functioning of the neurons.
Explain what happens to a neuron when a short-term memory is formed compared with a long-term memory.
With short-term memory only changes in the amount of neurotransmitter whereas with long-term memory all structural and functional changes occur.
What is the Medial Temporal Lobe?
It is the inner surface are towards the middle of the temporal lobe that includes the hippocampus, the amygdala and other cortical tissue.
What happens if surgeons remove the Medial Temporal Lobe?
The ability to form new Declarative Memories is severely limited but the ability to recall LTM memories from before the surgery is unaffected.
What does Consolidation Theory propose?
It proposes that structural changes to the neurons in the brain occur when something new is being learned, and immediately following learning.
What role does the Hippocampus and Medial Temporal Lobe play in consolidation?
They are involved with the strengthening of neurons and connections involved in forming new memories.
What is reconsolidation?
It has been proposed that after a memory is activated and retrieved from LTM, it needs to be consolidated again in order to be stored back in LTM.
Define Brain Trauma.
It is an 'umbrella' term that is used to refer to any brain damage that impairs, or interferes with, the normal functioning of the brain, either temporarily or permanently.
What is the difference between an inflicted brain injury and an acquired brain injury?
An Inflicted Brain Injury is caused by an intentional blow to the head or by violent shaking of the head sufficient to rupture veins or cause some other kind of injury. Alternatively, the damage may be due to an Acquired Brain Injury at some time after birth caused by an accident, drug abuse, brain surgery or by a neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer's Disease.
What is an Neurodegenerative Disease?
It is a disease characterised by a progressive decline in the structure, activity and function of brain tissue.
The term is used to refer to loss of memory, either partial or complete, temporary or permanent.
Explain Anterograde Amnesia.
It is when brain damage causes loss of memory only for information or events experienced after the person sustains that damage.
What is Korsakoff's Syndrome?
It is a neurodegenerative disease involving severe memory disorders associated with damage to brain structures and areas involved with memory, such as the hippocampus and thalmus.
What does it mean to Confabulate?
It means to fill in gaps in memory by falsifying stories about psat events that they seem to accept as true, rather than accept memory loss.
Explain Retrograde Amnesia.
It is when brain damage affects memory for information or events experienced before the person sustains the damage.
What is Dementia?
It is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of symptoms of a large group of illnesses or neurodegenerative diseases that cause a progressive decline in a person's mental functioning.
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