Download Memory - Part 1

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Memory - Part 1
Goals of the day:
Your memories
Write down your three most vivid
Why are they your most vivid?
Related to stress or pleasure, thus adaptive
to remember them
What is memory?
The ability to store and recall information
Three basic information processing steps
in memory:
Encoding: getting information into the brain
Automatic processing: unconscious encoding of
incidental information (space, time, frequency)
Effortful processing: encoding that requires
attention and conscious effort (remembering, names,
learning school work for a test, memorizing lines for
a play)
How can we boost the learning of new information:
rehearsal (conscious repetition of novel information to
maintain it for use or encode it for storage)
Why does it take so much effort to learn most novel
information? Otherwise, be overwhelmed by trivia.
Ebbinghaus’ retention curves
Overlearning improves retention
Serial Position Effect
 How would you report on your first semester in college
to your parents
A” in Spanish; “C-” in calculus, “B+” in biology;
elected as president of journalism club; 3 traffic
Serial position effect : we remember first and
last items in a list better than those in middle; but after
a delay, people remember first items best
Spacing Effect
What is the best way to study for exams?
The night before or a little bit each day?
Spacing effect: longer the space between
practice sessions, the better the recall
Types of encoding
Semantic (meaning)
Acoustic (sound)
Visual (sight)
Which works best?
Imagery and memory
mnemonic devices
Organizing Information
Chunking: organizing information into
meaningful units
Hierarchies: organizing information into
broad categories, subdivided into smaller
ones (20 questions)
Sensory memory storage
Iconic memory: fleeting photographic
Echoic memory: fleeing, "photographic"
auditory memory
Short and long term
Short term memory:
activated memory that holds few
bits of information (about 7), for a short period of time (about 10
Long term memory:
relatively permanent and
limitless storehouse of information in the memory
 How durable are memories? will all this money and effort for college
be worth it? will you remember anything you've learned? forgetting
 Is memory stored like video tape? No, typically embellished and
 Where is memory stored? Not in single spots (Lashley and Gerard
experiments); synaptic changes
Emotional Experiences and
The stronger the emotional experience, the
stronger the memory. Makes sense from an
evolutionary point of view: if you forget where
you were attacked or by what, not likely to be
around to reproduce.
Serotonin (neurotransmitter associated with
pleasurable experiences) and stress hormones
both facilitate memory formation
Explicit and Implicit LTM
Explicit memory: conscious recall (facts,
Hippocampus: temporary processing site for explicit memories
Implicit memory: non-conscious recall
(skills, conditioning effects)
Cerebellum: seems to be where implicit memory is located
 Explicit and implicit memories are not a unified system
amnesia victims can still ride a bicycle