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the process by which we encode, store, and retrive information


the process of recording information in a for usable to memory


the maintenance of material saved in memory


when material in memory storage has to be located and brought into awareness to be useful

sensory memory

the initial momentary storage of information lasting only an instant

short term memory

memory that holds information for 15 to 25 seconds

long term memory

memory that stores information on a relatively permanent basis, although it may be difficult to retrieve

iconic memory

reflects information from the visual system

echoic memory

stores auditory information coming from the ears


a meaningful grouping of stimuli that can be stored as a unit in short-term memory


the repition of information that has entered short term memory

working memory

a set of active temporary memory stores that actively manipulate and rehearse information

central executive

processor involved in reasoning and decison making

visual store

specializes in visual and spatial information

verbal store

holds and manipulates material relating to speech, words and numbers

episodic buffer

contains information that represents episodes or events

serial position effect

the ability to recall information in a list depending on where in the list an item appears

primary effect

items presented early in a list are remembered better

recency effect

items presented late in a list are remembered best

declarative memory

memory for factual information: names faces dates and the like

procedural memory

memory for skills and habits such as riding a bike, hitting a baseball and sometimes reffered to as nondeclarative memory

semantic memory

memory for general knowledge and facts about the world, as well as memory for the rules of logic that are used to deduce other facts

episodic memory

memory for events that occur in a particular time, place or context

semantic networks

mental representations of clusters and interconnected information

spreading activation

activating one memory triggers the activation of realted memories in a process


the term for the physical memory trace that corresponds to a memory


plays a central role in the consolidation of memories

medial temporal lobes

acts as neurological e-mail system; where information is passed along to the brains cortex


involved in memories involving emotion

long term potentiation

shows that certain neural pathways become easily excited when a new response is being learned


memories become fixed and stable in long term memory

tip-of-the-tongue phenom

the inabilty to recall information that one realizes one knows - a result of the difficulty of retriving information from long term memory


memory task in which specific information must be retrieved


memory task in which individuals are presented with a stimulus and asked whether they have been exposed to it in the past or to identify it from a list of elternatives

levels-of-processing theory

the theory of memory that emphasizes the degree to which new material is mentally analyzed

explicit memory

intentional or conscious recollection of information

implicit memory

memories of which people are not conscioulsy aware but which can affect subsequently performance and behavior


a phenom in which exposure to a word or concept later makes it easier to recall related information even when there is no conscious memory of the word or concept

flashbulb memories

memories centered on a specific, important, or surprising event that are so vivid as id they represented a snapshot of an event

source amnesia

occurs when an individual has a memory for some material but cannot recall where he or she encountered it before

constructive processes

processes in which memories are influenced by the meaning we give to events


organized bodies of information stored in memory that bias the way new information is interpreted, stored and recalled

repressed memories

recollections of events that are initially so shocking that the mind responds by pushing them into the unconscious

false memories

develop when people are unable to recall the source of a memory of a particualar event about which they have only vague recollections

autobiographical memories

our recollections of circumstances and episodes from our own lives


the loss of information in memory through its nonuse

memory traces

the physical changes that take place in the brain when new material is learned


the phenom by which information in memory disrupts the recall of other information

cue-dependent forgetting

forgetting that occurs when there are insufficient retrieval cues to rekindle information that is in memory

proactive interferance

interference in ehich information learned earlier disrupts the recall of newer material

retroacitve interference

interference in which there is difficulty in the recall of information learned earlier because of later exposure to different material.

Alzheimers disease

an illness characterized in part by sever memory problems


memory loss that occurs without other mental difficulties

retrograde amnesia

amnesia in which memory is lost for occurances prior to a certain event

anterograde amnesia

amnesia in which memory is lost for events that follow an injury

Korsakoff's syndrome

a disease that afflicts long-term alcoholics, leaving some abilities intact but including hallucinations and a tendency to repeat the same story

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