Unit VII : Cognition Modules


Terms in this set (...)

studying memory
research on memory's extremes has helped us understand how memory works
the persistence of learning over time through encoding, storage, and retrieval of information
what are the two extremes of memory recall ability?
1. The inability to lay down new memories of conservations and everyday episodes
2. People who would be gold medal winners in a memory Olympics.
memory models
psychologists create memory models to helps think about how our brain forms and retrieves memories

2. information-processing model
3. Atkinson and Shiffrin model
three parts of an information-processing model
1. encoding
2. storage
3. retrieval
the processing of information into the memory system
the process of retaining encoded information over time
the process of getting information out of memory storage
parallel processing
the processing of many aspects of a problem simulateneously
views memories as products of interconnected neural networks
Atkinson and Shiffrin's three stage model
1. sensory memory
2. short-term memory
3. long-term memory
sensory memory
the immediate, very brief recording of sensory information in the memory system
short-term memory
activated memory that holds a few items briefly
long-term memory
the relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of the memory system, which includes knowledge, skills and experience
memory model
working memory
a newer understanding of STM, that focuses on the conscious active processing of incoming auditory and visual spatial information, and information from LTM
explicit memories
memories of facts and experiences that one can conciously know and "declare"
aka. declarative memories
effortful processing
encoding that requires attention and conscious effort
automatic processing
unconscious encoding of incidental information, such as space, time and frequency, and of well-learned information such as word meanings
implicit memories
retention independent of conscious recollection
aka. nondeclarative memories
procedural memory
included in our implicit memories for automatic skills
conditional associations
included in our implicit memories among stimuli
what three things do we unconsiously automatically process?
1. space
2. time
3. frequency
sensory memory in effortful and explicit memories
feeds our active working memory, recording momentary images of scenes or echoes of sounds
iconic memory
a momentary sensory memory of visual stimuli
echoic memory
a momentary sensory memory of auditory stimuli
capacity of short term memory
seven information bits
capacity of working memory
capacity varies depending on age and other factors
short term memory decay
unless rehearsed, verbal information may be quickly forgotten.
effortful processing strategies
1. chucking
2. mnemonics
3. spacing effect
4. testing effect
organizing items into familiar, manageable units, often occurs automatically
memory aids, including techniques such as organizational devices and vivid imagery
composed of a few broad concepts divided and subdivided into narrower concepts and facts
spacing effect
the tendency of distributed study or practice to yield better long term retention than achieved from massed practice or study
testing effect
enchanced memory after retrieving, rather than simply rereading info.
aka. retrieval practice effect or test-enhanced learning
levels of processing
1. shallow processing
2. deep processing
shallow processing
encoding on a basic level based on the structure or appearance of words
deep processing
encoding semantically based on the meaning of the words; tends to yield the best retention
hippocampus role in memory
a neural center located in the limbic system; helps process explicit memories for storage
cerebullum role in memory
forming and storing of implicit memories
basal ganglia role in memory
deep brain structures involved in motor movement, facilitate formation of our procedural memories for skills
amygdala role in memory
(two limbic system emotion-processing) clusters to inititate a memory trace in the frontal lobes and basal ganglia and to boost activity in the brain's memory forming areas.
parts of brain
flashbulb memories
clear memories of an emotionally significant moment or event
synaptic changes
given increased activity in particular pathways, neural interconnections are forming and strengthening
long-term potentiation
an increased in a cell's firing potential after brief rapid simulation. believed to be a neural basis for learning and memory
effects of electric current through the brain
won't disrupt old memories, but will wipe out recent ones
figure 32.5
memory processing = 1. automatic and 2. effortful

1. implicit memories (nondeclarative) w/out conscious recall
1. processed in cerebellum and basal ganglia
1. space, time, frequency
1. motor and cognitive skills
1. classical conditioning

2. explicit memories (declarative) w/ conscious recall
2. processed in hippocampus and frontal lobes
2. personally experienced event (family holidays)
2. facts and general knowledge
what are three measures of retention?
1. recall
2. recognition
3. relearning
Ebbinghaus' retention curve
Ebbinghaus found that the more times he practiced a list of nonsense syllables on day 1, the fewer repetitions he required to relearn it on days 2. speed of relearning is one measure of memory retention.
retrieval cues
when you encode a target piece of information is associated with its other bits of info about your surroundings, mood, etc. these serve as retrieval cues later to be used to access info. More retrieval cues, better chance to find memory.
the activation, often unconsciously, of particular associations in memory
context dependent memory
putting yourself back in the context where you experienced something can prime your memory retrieval
state-dependent memory
what we learn in one state may be more easily recalled when we are again in that state.
mood congruent
the tendency to recall experiences that are consistent w/one's current good or bad mood.
serial position effect
our tendency to recall best the last (a recency effect) and the first items (a primacy effect) in a list
failure to encode, store or retrieve information
retrograde amnesia
the inability to retrieve info from one's past
anterograde amnesia
the inability to form new memories
encoding failure
age can affect encoding efficiency (age-related memory decline)
storage decay
even after encoding something well, we sometimes later forget it
retrieval failure
often, forgetting memories faded but memories unretrieved. Occasionally stem from interference and motivated forgetting
proactive interference
the disruptive effect of prior learning on the recall of new information
retroactive interference
the disruptive effect of new learning on the recall of old information
motivated forgetting
as we process info, we filter, alter or lose much of it
Freud's memory repression
in psychoanalytic theory, the basic defense mechanism that banishes from consciousness anxiety and memories
Figure 33.6
sensory memory -> working/short term memory -> long-term storage -> retrieval from LTM

sensory memory - the sense of momentarily register amazing detail

working/short -term memory - a few items are both notices and encoded

long-term storage - some items are altered or lost

retrieval from LTM - depending on interference retrieval cues, moods and motives, some things get retrieved, some don't
memory costruction errors
memory is not precis. we infer our past from stored info. plus what we later imagined, expected, saw and heard. we don't just retrieve memories, we reweave them
misinformation and information
can lead to the manufacturing of false memories. an individual may have confidence in them.
the misinformation effect
incorporating misleading information into one's memory of an event
imagination inflation
digitally altered photos can cause false memories
source amnesia
attributing the wrong source an event we have experienced, heard about, read about, or imagined
deja vu
cues from the current situation may unconsciouly trigger retrieval of an earlier experience
discerning true and false memories
after more retellings, those guessed details, now absorbed into our memories, may feel as real as if we had actually experienced them. much as perceptual illusions may seem like real perceptions, unreal memories feel like real memories
children's eyewitness recall
the reliability of young children's eyewitnesses are tested to either be accurate or not
improving memory: seven suggestions
1. rehearse repeatedly
2. make the material meaningful
3. activate retrieval cues
4. use mnemonic devices
5. minimize interference
6. sleep more
7. test your knowledge, both to rehearse it and to find out what you don't yet know
all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating
a mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or people
a mental image or best example of a category
the ability to produce novel and valuable ideas
convergent thinking
narrows the available problem solution to determine the single best solution
divergent thinking
expands the number of possible problem solutions
Sternberg's five components of creativity
1. Expertise
2. Imaginative thinking skills
3. A venturesome personailty
4. Intrinsic motivation
5. A creative environemtn
a methodical, logical rule of procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem
a simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgments and solve problems efficiently
a sudden realization of a problem's solution
confirmation bias
a tendency to search for information that supports our preconceptions and to ignore or distort contradictory evidence
mental set
a tendency to approach a problem in one particular way, often a way that has been successful in the past
an effortless, immediate, automatic feeling or thought, as contrasted with explicit, conscious reasoning
representativeness heuristic
judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent or match particular prototypes
availability heuristic
estimating the likelihood of events based on their avaliability in memory
the tendency to be more confident than correct - to overestimate the accuracy of our beliefs and judgments
belief perseverance
clinging to one's initial conceptions after the basis on which they were formed has been discredted
the way an issue is posed
perils and powers of intuition
irrational thinking can plague our efforts to see problems clearly, make wise decisions, form valid judgments, and reason logically
our spoken, written, or signed words and the ways we combine them to communicate meaning
language structure
1. phonemes
2. morphemes
3. grammar
in a language, the smallest distinctive sound unit
in a language, the smallest unit that carries meaning
ex. prefix
in a language, a system of rules that enables us to communicate with and understand others
language development
we humans have an astonishing facility for language. with remarkable efficiency, we sample tens of thousands of words in our memory, effortlessly assemble them with near-perfect syntax
receptive language
a baby's ability to understand what is said to and about them
productive language
a baby's ability to produce words, matures after their receptive language
babbling stage
beginning at about 4 months, the stage of speech development in which the infant spontaneously utters various sounds at first unrelated to the household language.
one word stage
the stage in speech development, from about age 1 to 2, during which a child speaks mostly in single words
two word stage
beginning about age 2, the stage in speech development during which a child speaks mostly in atwo-word statement
telegraphic stage
early speech in which a child speaks like a telegram - "go car" - using mostly nouns and verbs
4 months - stage
infant babbles many speech sounds
10 months - stage
babbling resembles household language
12 months - stage
child engages in one-word stage
24 months - stage
child engages in two-word, telegraphic speech
24+ month - stage
language develops rapidly into computer sentences
how do we acquire language
through learning as our biology and experience interact
universal grammar
Chomsky argued that all languages do share some basic elements
-built in predisposition to learn grammmar rules
statistical learning
human infants have the ability to learn statistical aspects of human speech. their brains not only discern word breaks, but statistically analyze which syllables go together
critical period
childhood seems to represent a critical period for mastering certain aspects of language before the language learning window closes
Figure 36.1
our ability to learn a new language diminishes with age
impairment of language, usually caused by left-hemisphere damage either to Broca's area (impairing speaking) or to Wernicke's areas (impairing understanding)
Broca's Area
controls language expression - an area of the frontal lobe, usually in the left hemisphere, that directs the muscle movements in speech
Wernicke's Area
controls language reception - a brain's area involved in language comprehension and expression; usually in the left temporal lobe
linguistic determination
Whorf's hypothesis that language determines the way we think