43 terms

Learning and Memory Unit 3


Terms in this set (...)

Declarative / explicit memory
Episodic memory
Semantic memory
Declarative memory: communicated/declared flexibly &
consciously accessible
• Episodic:
autobiographical events (what, when, & where)
• Semantic:
facts & general knowledge (usually just what)
Nondeclarative / implicit memory
Skill memory
NOT communicated flexibly &
NOT consciously accessible
• Skill memory:
perceptual-motor procedures
Know how these effect memory
o Depth-of-processing effect
o Elaborative rehearsal
o Transfer-appropriate processing effect
o Verbal mnemonics
o Visual mnemonics
o Distributed practice
o Exercise
o Sleep
o Depth-of-processing effect
encoding into LTM & later
retrieval is best with deep rather than shallow processing
o Elaborative rehearsal
Associate new info with old info
o Transfer-appropriate processing effect
retrieval is best
when conditions at retrieval match those at encoding
• E.g., divers who learn words while underwater
will have greater recall when tested underwater
• When studying, try to match the testing conditions
(e.g., no background music or TV)
o Verbal mnemonics
• E.g., ROY G BIV to remember the
colors of the rainbow
o Visual mnemonics
• E.g., the image below to remember the following words:
cat, phone, & chair
o Distributed practice
(as opposed to cramming) helps prevent
overload from interference
o Exercise
o Sleep
o Food
• Food: neurons need nourishment too!
(some nutrients more than others)

• Exercise: increased blood flow to brain &
hippocampal neurogenesis

• Sleep: reduced interference &
hippocampal reactivation in REM
Retroactive interference
Proactive interference
Directed forgetting
Decay: If you don't use it, you lose it • Retroactive interference: New info interferes with old info

Directed forgetting: We forget what we try to forget

Retroactive interference: New info interferes with old info

Proactive interference: Old info interferes with new info
o Distorted & false memories
Semantic confusability
• Misattribution:
you recall aspects of something correctly but
attribute to the wrong source ("Joe [actually Jane] told me")
• Source amnesia: you can't remember
the source ("where did I hear that?")
• Cryptomnesia: you think your words
or ideas, which are actually someone
else's, are original → plagiarism
memories may be implanted with suggestion
that something happened and/or leading questions
Semantic confusability
falsely remember semantically
similar info
o Cerebral cortex
Temporal lobe
Frontal lobe
• Frontal lobe for encoding, storage, & retrieva
o Hippocampus
Standard consolidation theory
Multiple memory trace theory
• Hippocampus for encoding declarative memories
• Standard consolidation theory:
hippocampus is required for
initial encoding, storage & retrieval - until consolidation in
cortex is complete & cortex can retrieve the memory
Multiple memory trace theory:
hippocampus mediates
storage & retrieval of memories for their lifetime
• Explains why hippocampus is still active when processing
things already stored in long-term memory
o Forms of amnesia
Anterograde amnesia
Retrograde amnesia
Transient global amnesia
Dissociative amnesia
Dissociative fugue
Anterograde amnesia
• Cause: damage to hippocampus in
medial temporal lobe (e.g., H.M.)
• Symptoms: inability to remember information (semantic)
& events (episodic) that occur after damage
(can't encode new declarative things into LTM)
• E.g., H.M. didn't remember learning his uncle died
(experienced fresh grief each time told)
• Spared: can form new nondeclarative memories
Retrograde amnesia
• Cause: damage to substantial portions of cortex
• Symptoms: inability to remember information (semantic)
& events (episodic) from a usually-brief
period before the damage
• Spared: remember nondecl
Transient global amnesia
when brain is
temporarily disrupted & not damaged (e.g.,
concussions & ECT), memories often return
Dissociative amnesia
functional amnesia (resulting from
psychological rather than organic causes) of a traumatic
event that one tries to repress
Dissociative fugue
forgetting who you are is
really really really really really really rare
o Diseases with amnesia as a symptom
Alzheimer's disease
Korsakoff's disease
Korsakoff's Disease
• Causes: damage to diencephalon (that connects to
hippocampus), caused by thiamine (vitamin B1)
deficiency from starvation or chronic alcoholism
• Symptoms: anterograde (& some retrograde) amnesia,
confabulation, & hallucinations
• Treatments: vitamin B1 & no more alcohol
• Alzheimer's Disease
Causes: amyloid beta plaques & tangles,
low acetylcholine, low insulin, ???
• Symptoms: anterograde amnesia early, retrograde later;
deficits in attention, language, reasoning, &
movement; personality changes
• Treatments: clearing amyloid beta, increasing ace
o Forms of agnosia
Visual agnosia
Auditory agnosia
• Visual agnosia: can't ID common objects, due to damage
of inferior temporal lobe; may be limited
(e.g., just living things)

• Auditory agnosia: can't ID spoken words, due to damage
of superior temporal lobe; may be limited
(e.g., just nouns)

• Tactile agnosia: can't ID objects via touch, due to damage
of inferior parietal lobe
o Perceptual-motor (open & closed)
learned movement patterns guided
by sensory inputs (e.g., playing a piano, driving a car)

• Closed skills: predefined sequence of movements
• Open skills: movements change with environment
o Cognitive
learned skills that require solving problems
or applying strategies (e.g., chess, Tower of Hanoi)
Know how these facors effect expertise -
o Talent
o Power law of learning
o Knowledge of results
o Feedback
o Massed practice
o Spaced practice
o Constant practice
o Variable practice
• Talent (innate ability) - Your ability to acquire a skill & how good you get at it
may be limited by genetics

• Power law of learning:
rapid gains in performance
early on, followed by
decreasingly smaller gains
• How much you practice
(10,000+ hrs → expertise)
• How early in life you
practice (brain is more
malleable when young)

• Knowledge of results
(e.g., seeing if you
made the jump shot)

• Feedback (e.g., seeing
film of your "mechanics"
vs. proper mechanics)

• Massed practice for quicker learning

• Spaced practice for better long-term learning

• Constant practice (same task repeatedly) for quicker learning

• Variable practice (related tasks or same task under different
conditions, in alternation) for better long-term learning
o Fitt's stages of skill acquisition
Cognitive stage
Associative stage
Autonomous stage
1. Cognitive stage: active thinking (explicit learning) with
observation & instruction
2. Associative stage: trial & error, rely more on stereotyped
actions, less active thinking
3. Autonomous stage: motor programs are automatic
o Identical elements theory
transfer depends on # of
elements in new situation that are identical to old situation
know the role of the following brain regions in skill memory)
o Basal ganglia o Cerebral cortex o Cerebellum
• Basal ganglia - Basal ganglia
is important for learning &
performing skills
• Receives info from sensory cortexes
• Sends info to motor cortex (movement planning) & to brain
stem (automatic movement control)
• Remember...
Perceptual-motor skills:
learned movement patterns
guided by sensory inputs
• "If light on (perceptual),
run down arm (motor)
for food"
• Basal ganglia damage
impairs ability to learn
perceptual-motor skill
o Cerebral cortex
• Cortical expansion of
somatosensory & motor cortex
for playing fingers of violinists;
too much → musician's dystonia
• Cortical expansion of motor
cortex for fingers trained on a
particular movement sequence
• Cortical expansion of motion
processing cortex after learning
to juggle
o Cerebellum
• Receives info from sensory & motor cortexes, & spinal cord
• Sends info to motor cortex & spinal cord
• Important for motor control & coordination, balance, &
classical conditioning of reflexive actions
• Important for learning & performing movement sequences
that require precise timing & coordination (e.g., dancing,
playing a musical instrument, walking on a tightrope)

• Damage → difficulty performing
perceptual-motor skills
o Apraxia
• Damage to parietal lobe
• Difficulty imitating actions, impacting observational learning
• Difficulty pantomiming actions (e.g., flipping a coin)
• Difficulty performing multi-step actions from memory
(e.g., lighting a candle with a match, making spaghetti)
o Huntington's disease
• Genetic disorder with damage to basal ganglia & cortex
• Psychological problems including depression & psychosis
• Motor problems including ticks, shaking, difficulty learning
skills (e.g., rotary pursuit task, weather prediction task,
mirror reading task), & loss of motor function after ~15 yrs
o Parkinson's disease
• Diminished function in basal ganglia, due to damage of
substantia nigra which provide basal ganglia with dopamine
• Motor problems including rigidity, tremors, difficulty initiating
movements, & difficulty learning skills