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Learning, Memory and cognition: Week 4
Remembering and forgetting
Terms in this set (26)
Term used in neuroscience to describe the overall complicated process of how short-term (fragile) memories are 'consolidated' into longer-term (strong) memories over time.
A neural center located in the limbic system that helps process explicit memories for storage.
Brain structure that has very important role in the neural consolidation of new memories into longer-term memories.
the standard theory of consolidation
that this interface between the hippocampus and cortical areas weakens over time as the memory becomes more solidified within cortical networks and there comes a point where the memory can be retrieved directly from the cortex
Standard theory of consolidation into 'multiple trace theory'
This theory has been slightly modified in more recent times to become the multiple trace theory which posits that for episodic, contextually-rich memories, the link between the cortical areas and the hippocampus does not wane over time and remains, see Figure 2. This helps to explain why people with anterograde amnesia (with accompanying hippocampal damage) can retrieve prior semantic memories (that no longer require the hippocampus) while unable to recall episodic memories (that needed the hippocampus to be recalled)
Structural changes occur at the synapse. Changes to facilitate neural firing is referred to as long-term potentiation and changes that occur to diminish firing is called long-term depression. These changes can occur quite rapidly, over seconds, minutes, to hours. These kinds of changes are occurring when we are holding something in our working memory (but also for development of long-term stored memories as well).
The gradual reorganization of neural circuits. As an analogy think of a neuron like a plant. Plants can grow branches and can selectively kill off branches to allow other parts of the plant to flourish. Same kind of thing occurs with the 'branches' (i.e., axon terminals and dendrites) that sprout from ne
Once upon a time it was believed that once you reached adulthood you had all the neurons you were ever going to have. Turns out that there are parts of the brain, even in adulthood, where new neurons are formed. One of the major sites for neurogenesis is in the dentate gyrus within the hippocampal formation in the brain.
Temporally graded retrograde amnesia
Retrograde amnesia has been found to typically occur in a graded fashion. That is, people with retrograde amnesia tend to lose more recent memories compared to older ones
Brain structure that has large role in emotional processing and modulates activity of hippocampus to facilitate formation of memories that have a lot of emotion attached to them
A flashbulb memory
Term used to describe a highly arousing experience associated with strong emotion (e.g., happiness, sadness, fear, disgust, among others) that results in a quickly formed strong memory trace that typically lasts for a long time without necessarily requiring a lot of retrieval practice to recall. Contrary to popular belief, flashbulb memories are not like a photograph and are subject to standard mechanisms of distortion.
Weapon focus effect
When experiencing a highly emotional event the presence of a threatening or surprising stimulus might capture attention which causes memory accuracy for the resulting flashbulb memory to be high for the aspects of the event that captured attention, and low for other details
Levels of processing theory
The simple notion that engaging in more elaborative (deeper) encoding will lead to the formation of stronger memories compared to non-elaborative (shallow) mental processing of to-be-learned materials
principles of elaboration
1. visual imagery
2. self-reference effect
3. organising info
4. Generation effect
practices that support memory encoding
: encoding specificity principle
The principle that memory retrieval has the potential to be facilitated when we are in the same environmental context as when the memory was initially encoded
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