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procedural memory

used to perform certain sequences of muscle movement (eating with chopsticks, walking)

declarative memory

memory we can state in words

semantic memory

type of declarative memory; memory of facts; can hold on to for a long time

episodic memory

type of declarative memory; memory of specific events; more fragile than semantic memory

sensory memory

first stage in declarative memory process; incoming sensory information; capacity is very limited, decays in less than a second if not attended

short-term memory (STM)

second stage in declarative memory process; attended sensory memory; capacity is limited, decays in 20-30 seconds if not attended


grouping items into meaningful sequences to better memorize in STM

long-term memory (LTM)

third stage in declarative memory process; capacity is unlimited, lasts for a life time


turning memory into a neural code

state dependent learning

better at remembering thins when your body is in the same state as it was during encoding


retaining/storing the physical input from your encoding stage

reconstructive memory

concept that memory is recomposed to fill in gaps of likely events


recovering physical input from storage


inability to retrieve a memory

yerkes-dodson law

curvilinear relationship between arousal/stress level and performance

weapon focus effect

the weapon focuses your attention, not the detail of person

cross-race identification bias

tendency to be better at identifying your own race than others

false memory

memories that are created


new information interferes old (retroactive) and old information interferes new (proactive)

mug-shot bias

tendency to identify someone in a line-up after seeing photo of the person (new information interferes with old)

leading question

a question that attempts to guide a specific response


physical representation of what you learned

retrograde amnesia

due to damage to hippocampus; inability to retrieve memory right before surgery

anterograde amnesia

due to damage to hippocampus; inability to store new memories in LTM (H.M. experienced this)

source amnesia

forgetting where/how you learned something

working memory

system for working with current information


memory that one has stored but cannot retrieve


loss of memory

Alzheimer's disease

condition occurring in old age, memory loss, confusion, depression etc.


altered state of reality; usually occurs during REM sleep

lucid dream

dreamer feels awake and capable of normal thought and action

psychoanalytic perspective

dreams are your deep dark wishes, symbols of repressed desires and anxieties

cognitive perspective

dreams are opportunities to problem solve (trial and error situations)

biological perspective

dreams are meaningless; interpretations of random brain activities


subjective experience of perceiving oneself and one's environment

circadian rhythm

rhythm of activity and inactivity lasting about a day

rapid eye movement (REM) sleep

sleeper's eyes move rapidly back and forth under the closed eye lids

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