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Memory
Memory
The persistence of learning over
time through the storage and
retrieval of information
–Your memory is your mind’s
storehouse, the reservoir of your
accumulated learning
Memory processing is similar
to computer processing
Encoding – the processing of
information into the memory
system
Storage – the retention of
encoded information over time
Retrieval – the process of getting
information out of memory
storage
Encoding
• the first step
of building a
memory is
sensory input
In other words, putting information into
your brain (sensation) is like typing on
your computer keyboard
Storage
• Once encoded,
memories are
stored
somewhere
(usually more
than one place)
in your brain
When you hit the save button on the
keyboard, your work is saved on the hard
drive
Retrieval
• Stored memories can be retrieved (with
varying degrees of difficulty)
You can “Open” saved files to work with
them again…
Memory Formation
• How are memories created
and what determines how
long we keep them?
Atkinson and Shiffrin’s ThreeStage Model of Memory
Stage 1
Sensory
Memory
the immediate,
initial recording of
sensory information
Sensory memory retention is
only fleeting and momentary
Sensory Memory
How• many
letters
can you retention
recall?
Sensory
memory
G
Z
E
P
• allows
Make sure
are paying
us toyou
remember
small,
attention!
of
information
Mostquick
peoplebits
can
recall
four or five for
lettersain
that
shortReady!
of
a time of
span,
but
very
short
period
time
•
Get
R know that
K there wereO
D
more.
• •Lets
Go!try!
B
T
X
F
G
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E
P
R
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O
D
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Sensory Memory allows us to
make
snap
interpretations of
Was she
attractive?
What was what
he/she wearing?
we seeWhat color was
it?
What color was his/her hair? How long
was it? Anything in it?
Was she mean or nice?
What was his/her facial expression?
What color were his/her eyes?
What was he/she carrying?
Atkinson and Shiffrin’s ThreeStage Model of Memory
Stage 1
Sensory
Memory
A few items
A few seconds
the immediate,
initial recording of
sensory information
Stage 2
Short-Term /
Working
Memory
5 – 9 Items
20 to 30
seconds
holds a few items
briefly, and then
the information is
either stored, or
forgotten
If you pay
attention, the
memory will
enter your shortterm memory
Short-Term Memory or
Working Memory
The ability to hold and manipulate
information over a brief period of
time. Forgetting can occur rapidly,
especially if distracted
Working Memory
Short-term memory has two important
characteristics.
– First, short-term memory can contain at
any one time seven, plus or
minus two, "chunks" of
information.
– Second, items remain in short-term
memory around twenty to
thirty seconds.
Short-Term Memory
This type of
memory increases
as children get
older…
…but decreases in old age
Short-Term Memory
Look at the pictures on
the next slide
Write down all the objects you
can remember
How many objects did you
remember?
Short-Term Memory
We can only consciously process a
very limited amount of information in
our short-term memory.
Overload your short-term memory?
You might forget what you read, ask
yourself where you put your
briefcase, and ask your phone
partner the same thing twice.
Atkinson and Shiffrin’s ThreeStage Model of Memory
Stage 1
Sensory
Memory
A few items
A few seconds
the immediate,
initial recording of
sensory information
Stage 2
Short-Term /
Working
Memory
5 – 9 Items
20 to 30
seconds
holds a few items
briefly, and then
the information is
either stored, or
forgotten
Stage 3
Repetition
and
spacing
can
send
Long -Term
these
items to
Memory
No
limits!
long-term
Can be retrieved
storage!
and “worked” with
the relatively
permanent and
limitless storehouse of
memories
Where do all the memories go?
….it depends.
There is no single
storage place for
memories in the
brain.
Important Brain Storage Areas
Remember the
Hippocampus?
The hippocampus
is your short-term
or “working”
memory.
It processes the memory and either sends it
to long-term storage or disposes of it
Important Brain Storage Areas
The amygdala is
responsible for
emotional
content of your
memories
Helps store
emotional
memories
Storing Memories in the Brain
Complex memories do not
reside in single specific spots
Karl Lashley – trained rats
to solve a maze, then cut out
pieces of the rat’s cortexes
and retested their memory of
the maze. No matter what
small cortex section he
removed, the rats retained at
least a partial memory of
how to solve the maze
Think about the parts of a
memory!
Your 10th birthday party!
– Sights – your grandparents, your new pony!
– Sounds – singing happy birthday!
– Emotions – the joy of people paying attention
to only you for a change!
All of these memory pieces are
stored in different places and
connected back together in the
process of “remembering”
Storing Memories in the Brain
BUT…..
Richard Thompson resumed Lashley’s
search
Using classical conditioning to train
rabbits to blink when a tone was
sounded, he found that simple, reflex
memories were localized in the
cerebellum!
The Verdict – Complex memories are
distributed while many simple,
reflex memories are localized
Storing Memories in the Brain
Are memories stored as electrical
currents in the brain, or are they
somehow physically changing your
brain?
Ralph Gerard – trained hamsters to
turn right or left to get food, and then
lowered their body temps until the
brain’s electrical activity ceased. He
revived them, re-tested them, and they
remembered which way to turn.
Conclusion: Memories seem to be electrical
and physical.
What TYPES of memory are
there?
There are many different types of memory
but two main categories
Explicit Memories – those memories we
try to remember
And
Implicit Memories – those memories we
form without any effort
Explicit Memory
We use explicit
memory throughout
the day, such as
remembering the
time of an
appointment or
recollecting an
event from years
ago.
Dates, names,
presidents, parts of the
brain, etc.
Implicit Memory
an automatic or an unconscious form of
memory
Includes Episodic Memories (events of
your life, like an “episode” of a tv show)
Implicit memory is special because most
amnesiacs still have implicit memory skills even
if they don't realize it.
Motor or muscle memory is
implicit
Remembering!
Encoding – Effortful Processing
Two effortful practices that may help to gather
(encode) sensory information include
rehearsal and spacing
Rehearsal – the conscious repetition of
information
Spacing – rehearsing information repeatedly,
over time. (study, take a break; study, take a
break; etc…)
Encoding – Effortful Processing
Semantic Encoding – its easier to
remember things that have meaning
Acoustic Encoding – its easier to
remember things with sound/rhyme
Visual Encoding – its easier to
remember things we visualize
Encoding – Effortful Processing
Semantic Encoding
Flashbulb Memories – a clear memory of an
emotionally significant moment or event
– Where were you when 9/11 occurred
– Your 16th Birthday, your first kiss, the first day
of high school, a funeral, etc…..even though
the memory old, you have a clear recollection
the event because it has more meaning to
you personally
Visual Encoding
– Drumstick
– Handshake
– Soccer ball
– Puppy
– Chalkboard
– Letter C
– Football
– Apple
– Keflavik
– Hotdog
– Number 7
Study this list for
20 seconds
– Eggs
– Pitcher
– Balloons
– Bell
– Musical notes
– Surtsey
– Hamburger
– Present
– Glasses
– Bicycle
– Cake
– Lunch Box
– Cup of Coffee
– Cat
– Hofn
– Truck
– Stork
write down as many as you
can remember!
Did any of you write Hofn, Surtsey or Keflavik?
…probably not, that’s because words that have no
“meaning” (Semantics) to you are harder to
remember…
By the way, they are all towns in Iceland….
Now study these images for
20 seconds
write down as many as you
can remember!
Did you remember more from the first list
(words) or from the second list (images)?
Usually, people remember more from the
second list because visual encoding is
very powerful!
Encoding – Auditory Encoding
Songs! The Alphabet Song and
School House Rock!
Rhymes! In fourteen hundred and
ninety-two Columbus sailed the
Ocean Blue.
"i" before "e," except after "c," or in
sounding like "ay" as in "neighbor" or
"weigh."
Encoding –
Mnemonics - Strategies or
Shortcuts that help us remember
(Mnemonics)
Acronyms – Organizing items by
creating words or sentences from
the first letters of the words or
information to be remembered
Fed Ex Mnemonics
Encoding –Chunking
1,8,1,2,1,7,7,6,1,9,4,1,1,4,9,2
Encoding –Chunking
What numbers do you
remember?
Encoding –Chunking
Chunking – Organizing items into
familiar, manageable units
Would those have been easier to
remember if I had chunked them like
this?:
1812, 1776, 1941, 1492
Encoding –Acronyms
Need to learn the names
of North America’s five
“Great Lakes”?
–HOMES – Huron, Ontario,
Michigan, Erie, Superior
Encoding – Effortful Processing
Acronyms
National Basketball Association –
NBA
Self Contained Underwater
Breathing Apparatus – SCUBA
Retrieval
Recall – memory is the ability to
retrieve exact information learned at
an earlier time
– IE. Fill in the blank test.
– IE. Columbus sailed in the year ________. 6 x 6 =
_____. Define retrieval ______.
My Social Security
number is _______.
Retrieval
Recognition – a measure of memory
in which a person only needs to
recognize items previously learned
– IE. A multiple-choice test.
Retrieval
Relearning –if you’ve learned
something and forgot it, you
probably will learn the material
more easily the second time
– IE. Learned to play the guitar and
played for five years. Haven’t played in
10 years, but you pick up a guitar and
play a few tunes, and with a few lessons
you play as well as you did before.
Retrieval
Retrieval Cues – clues that provide
reminders of information that
otherwise would be more difficult
to remember
i.e. – a certain song was playing when you
had your first kiss years ago, today you
hear that song and the memory of that first
kiss pops into your head
Retrieval Cues
Priming – the activation of particular
associations in memory
i.e. - a person who sees the word "yellow" will be slightly
faster to recognize the word "banana." This happens
because yellow and banana are closely associated in
memory.
– IE. A “Missing Child” poster makes you think about your
own abduction as a child
– IE. The color red prompts memories of days on your
grandfathers farm, with its big red barn
– IE. The first letter of each vocabulary word is provided
on your test.
Retrieval Cues
Context Effects – we remember
information better and more accurately
when in a physical setting that is similar to
the one that you learned the information
in the first place
Where
should we
take the AP
test?
Retrieval Cues
Mood-Congruent –our moods bias
our memories – what we learned in
one mood, we remember better when
in the same mood
– IE. You go to a funeral and are sad, all day long you
keep remembering other sad things that you hadn’t
thought of in a long time…
Retrieval Cues
State-Dependent Theory – what we
learn in one physical state – such
as drunk or sober – is sometimes
more easily recalled when we are
again in that same state.
i.e. – Where did put those car keys last night…?
Retrieval Cues
déjà vu – “Already Seen”
(French)
– The eerie sense that “I’ve been
in this exact situation before”
– Memory Explanation – If a
situation is loaded with clues
that are similar to ones
already in memory, your brain
makes similar associations
between them
Forgetting!
Forgetting
Absent-Mindedness – failure to “pay
attention” leads to poor encoding
Forgetting
Decay Theory – forgetting is
due to normal metabolic
processes that occur in the
brain over time; if memories
are unused over a long period
of time, they begin to naturally
fade away
…use ‘em or lose ‘em!
Forgetting
Hermann Ebbinghaus
IE. Within 3 years of
graduation you will
probably forget more
that half of what you
learned. But, after
three years your
forgetfulness will
level off and you will
retain some of that
Spanish for 25 years
or more, without
having used it or
relearned it.
P.R.O.N.E
Retrieval Failures
Pro-active Interference – occurs
when something you learned
earlier (an old memory) disrupts
your ability to create a new
memory
–IE. You buy a new car and want to
switch on the headlights, but instead
you keep turning on the windshield
wipers.
Retrieval Failures
Retro-active Interference –
occurs when New information
makers it harder to recall
something you learned earlier
–IE. Your new phone number
interferes with remembering
your old phone number.
PRONE
P = Proactive
R = retroactive
O = Remember the old, forget the
new
N = remember the new, can’t
remember the old
E = easy mnemonic device
Retrieval Failures
Repression - a basic “defense
mechanism” that banishes from
consciousness anxiety-arousing
thoughts, feelings, and memories
…keeping bad memories “bottled-up”
Retrieval
Failures
Tip-Of-TheTongue
Experience –
the inability to
get a bit of
information
that you’re
absolutely
certain is
stored in your
memory – the
information is
very close, but
just out of reach
Medical Memory Loss
Amnesia – severe memory loss
– Retrograde – forget things from the
past
– Anterograde – inability to form new
memories but remember the past
Alzheimers – as plaques build in
the brain and interfere with neural
transmissions, memories cannot
be formed or retrieved
False Memories
• Source Confusion –the true source of a
memory is forgotten, so you create details
to fill in the gaps
– You actually saw that on tv…
Elizabeth Loftus
• Misinformation Effect –
existing memories can be
altered if the person is exposed
to misleading information
– Eyewitness Testimony…How
reliable is it?
How To Make Memories Last?
A Few Suggestions
Focus your attention
Organize the information
Commit the necessary time
Elaborate on the material
Space your study sessions
How To Make Memories Last?
A Few Suggestions
Use visual imagery and other mnemonics
Explain it to a friend
Reduce Interferences
Since we usually remember the early part
and the last part, spend extra time on the
middle
Look for clues (or cues) to jog memory
…can’t remember!
…can’t forget!