How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

Ch. 8: Memory

any indication that learning has persisted over time through our ability to store and retrieve info
getting info into memory; the transference of memory into permanent storage, always in STM
retaining encoded info over time
getting info out of memory storage
modern info-processing model of memory; views memories as emerging from interconnected neural networks; certain memories arise from certain activation patterns within these networks
Sensory memory
1st stage of forming memories; the immediate, initial recording of sensory info in memory system; it's stored for an instant, and most gets unprocessed; briefly preserves info gathered by senses, and allows senses to linger briefly
Short-Term Memory
2nd stage; activated memory that holds a few items briefly before the info is stored or forgotten; holds plus or minus 7 items; rehearsal stores memories from STM to LTM
Working Memory
a newer understanding of STM that focuses on conscious, active-processing of incoming auditory and visual-spatial info, and of info retrieved from LTM; visual, audio, integration; the conscious activated memory that you are aware of at any given time
Long-Term Memory
3rd stage; relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of the memory system
Information-Processing Model
(Atkinson & Shiffrin); includes 3 stages; sensory memory registers the image, STM focuses on 1 thing that sticks out in the image, LTM determines whether its important or not; some info skips 1st and 2nd stage
alert focusing on material, is the crucial factor in determining amount and kind of info retained; likened to a filter in an info-processing model of memory; occurs early and later in info-processing sequence
organized clusters of knowledge about particular subjects/events from previous experiences
Implicit/ Nondeclarative LTM
actions, skills, operations, and conditioned responses; involves learning an action while the individual doesn't know or declare what she knows; processed in party by cerebellum; skills and classical/operant conditioning
Procedural LTM
our knowledge about how to do things/ how to perform physical tasks
Explicit/ Declarative LTM
factual info, facts, and experiences that one can consciously know and declare; processed in hippocampus; semantic and episodic memory
Episodic/ Autobiographical LTM
memories composed of particular events that happen to someone personally
Semantic LTM
general knowledge of the world
Ex: Columbus discovered American in 1492
Retrospective Memories
focuses on recollection from the past
Prospective Memories
remembering stuff for the future
Rosy Retrospection
recalling the high points while forgetting the low points
Automatic Processing
unconscious encoding of incidental info; space, time, frequency, well-learned info (word meanings); things can be automatic with practice
Ex: route to school
Effortful Processing
encoding that requires attention and conscious effort; commiting novel info to memory; produces durable and accessible memories
Ebbinghaus; the conscious repitition of info to maintain it in consciousness or encode it for storage; what was effortful becomes automatic
Spacing Effect (Distributed)
distributed study yields better long-term retention than massed study would do
Testing Effect
(Roediger and Karpicke); repeated quizzing of previously studied material
Serial Position Effect
our tendency to recall best the first and last items on a list
Primacy Effect
ability to remember first items after shifting our attention from the last items
Recency Effect
ability to remember last items because they're stilll in working memory
Von Restorff Effect
middle spike; a unique item embedded in an otherwise homogeneous list is recalled better than the normal homogeneous items; items around distinctive one are remembered better
Visual Encoding
the encoding of picture images
Acoustic Encoding
the encoding of sound, especially sounds of words
Semantic Encoding
the encoding of meaning, including the meaning of words; yields better memory
Deep and Shallow Processing
(Craik and Lockhart); incoming info is processed at different levels; memory depends on how deeply processed; the deeper equals the longer lasting memory codes;
visual= shallow, acoustic= intermediate, semantic= deep
mental pictures; powerful aid to effortful processing, esp. when combined with semantic encoding
memory aids, especially those techniques that use vivid imagery and organizational devices
Method of Loci
Simonides; use our imagination to place items you want to remember in locations we're familiar with
Peg-Word System
type of mnemonic requiring memorization of a jingle
organizing items into familiar, meaningful, manageable units, such as words, sentences, or groups of numbers; occurs automatically; acronyms
organizing info into major concepts, minor related ideas, and the relationships among all these items
Iconic Memory
a momentary sensory memory of visual stimuli/ photographic memory lasting less than a few 10ths of a second
Echoic Memory
a momentary sensory memory of auditory stimuli lasting 3-4 systems
Hepatic Memory
memory of touch, lasts 1 second
Self-Reference Effect
we can recall info better if we can meaningfully relate it to ourselves
tendency to remember similar or related items in groups
Conceptual Hierarchies
mutlilevel classification system based on common properties among items
type of schema, organizing what a person knows about common activities
Sematnic Networks
consists of nodes representing concepts, joined together by pathways tha tlink related concepts
Ex: bread and butter
Connectionist networks and PDP models
uses inspiration the way neurons appear to handle info through connections; specific memories= specific network patterns
Capacity of LTM
is no limit; billions bits of info, with capacity for 1000 to million times that amount
Duration of LTM
permanence of storage
more is released when learning occurs at some synapses, which then become more efficient at transmittin signals
Stress and Memory
stress hormones make more glucose, which fuels brain activity; heightened emotions= stronger memories; stress can lead to release of hormones that were shown toa ssist in LTM; explains flashbulb memory; prolonged stress erodes memories
Flashbulb Memory
special kind of long-term, clear memory where we form vivid detailed memories of emotionally significant moments of events; don't last longer than any other memories
Long-term Potential
an increase in a synapse's firing potential after a short, rapid stimulation; believed to be a neural basis for learning and memory; the mor eyou think about a memory the stronger the neural pathway becomes; it's rehearsal fo your neurons
switches genes on and off; used by boosting it's production to retrieve lost memory; it would lead to increased production of proteins that help reshape synapses and consolidate STM to LTM
neuro-t that enhances synaptic communication (LTP)
a neural center that is located in limbic system; processes LTM declarative memories; STM are encoded into LTM here; responsible for making new memories; prolonged stress shrinks it
left side= verbal info, right side= visual designs and location
brain region extending out from rear of brainstem; neural center in hindbrain; processes LTM implicit memories; formation and retention of simple classicaly conditioned responses (implicit)
processes emotion and boosts activity in brain's memory areas; hippocampus's neural neighbor; strengthens memories that have strong emotion ties
Cerebral Cortex
storage of LTM, possibly in areas involved in the originial perception of the info
the loss of memory; can learn despite not being able to remember; episodic memories
Retrograde Amnesia
loss of memory from past memories that were already stored; period may be brief; only erases certain portions of life
Anterograde Amnesia
can't form new memories, but can remember past memories
the ability to retrieve info not in conscious awareness from previously being learned
Ex: fill in the blank
a measure of memory where the person need only identiy items previously learned
Ex: mutliple choice test
a measure of memory that assesses the amount of time saved when learning material for a second time
Retrieval Cues
anchor points used to access the target info when you want to later retrieve it; the more the better; the best come from associations formed when encoded
the unconscious activation of particular associations in memory
Ex: rabbit primes association with hare
Repitition Priming
it's easier to recognize face/word if you have recenlty seen that same face/word
Semantic Priming
it's easier to recognize someone/word if you have seen another person or word closely associated (connected by general meaning)
Context Effects
it helps to put yourself back in the same context you encoded info because you retrieve memories more easily in the environement in which you formed them
Deja Vu
the eerie sense that "I've done this/been here before."; cues from urrent situations may subconsciously trigger retrieval from previous experience
State-Dependent Memory
what we learn in 1 state/mood may be more easily recalled when we are in that same state again
Mood_Congruent Memory
tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with one's current mood
Ex: remembering other sad memories when depressed
3 Sins of Forgetting
1. Absentmindedness- inattention to details lead to encoding failure
2. Transcience- storage decay over time
3. Blocking- inaccessibility of stored info( tip of tongue)
3 Sins of Distortion
1. Misattribution- confusing the source of info
2. Suggestibility- the lingering effects of misinfo
3. Bias- belief-colored recollections
1 Sin of Intrusion
1. Persistence- unwanted memories
Proactive Interference
the disruptive effect of prior learning on the recall of new info
Retroactive Interference
disruptive effect of new learning on recall of old info; info from hour before sleep is protected from this b/c opporunitity for interfering events is limited
Positive Transfer
when previous learning helps new learning
Freud, psychoanalytical theory; the basic defense mechancism that banishes from consciousness anxiety, arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories to protect our self-concept and decrease anxiety; mems aren't repressed b/c the to-be-forgotten info is emotional
Misinformation Effect
(Loftus); incorporating misleading info into one's memory of an event
Imaginiation Effect
when on imagines doing something they are more likely to think they actually done it; visualizing and perceiving activate similar brain areas
Source Amnesia/ Misattribution
attributing an event to the wrong source that we heard about, read, or imagined; explains false memories
associated meanings and feelings
Ex: remembering candy, sugar, honey, and taste by the gist sweet
Phonological Rehearsal Loop
Baddeley; represented all of STM, active when no one uses recitation to temporarily hold on to info; verbal labels
Visuospatial Sketchpad
allows temporarily holding and manipulation of visual images
Executive Control System
handles limited amount of info juggled at 1 type as people engage in decision making
Episodic Buffer
temporary, limited capacity store that allows various components of working memory to integrate info, interface between WM and LTM
an inability to retrieve info due to poor encoding, storage, or retrieval
the proportion of material remembered or retained
Failure to Encode
don't pay attention to information we don't consider important; with age the parts of the brain that are active during encoding respond more slowly; can'tt remember what we do not encode because it never has a chance to enter our LTM.
Next-in-Line Effect
Our tendency to forget (through failure to encode) what the person ahead of us in line has just said because we are focusing on what we will say in our upcoming turn.
Change Blindness
Storage Decay
Ebbinghaus studied forgetting using retention; retention and forgetting occur over time; storage failure occurs in a predictable pattern: We lose most of the info. we are going to lose shortly after we learn it. After this initial period the loss tends to level off. Some memories lodge in permastore memory, where they remain for decades
Retrieval Failure
Most instances of forgetting result from this; The memory was encoded and stored, but sometimes you just cannot access the memory.
Tip of the Tongue Phenomenon
The sensation that we are certain we know the word for which we are searching, yet we cannot recall it; shows that recall is often guided by partial information about a word...retrieval cues.
The negative impact of competing information on retention; people forget information because of competition from other material;
Proactive Interference
old memories of information interfere with something you learned recently
Retroactive Interference
a new memory blocks your ability to retrieve an older memory
Freud; A defense mechanism that banishes anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories from consciousness.
Expectancy Bias
an unconscious tendency to remember events as being congruent with our expectations.
Self-Consistency Bias
The commonly held idea that we are more consistent in our attitudes, opinions, and beliefs than we actually are.