Chapter 6 - Memory Flashcards Preview

VCE Psychology Unit 3/4 > Chapter 6 - Memory > Flashcards

Flashcards in Chapter 6 - Memory Deck (82):

Define memory.

Memory is often defined as the storage and retrieval of information acquired through learning. Essentially, memory is an internal record or representation of some prior event or experience.


What are the three fundamental processes of memory?

Encoding, storage and retrieval.


Define encoding.

Encoding is the process of converting sensory information into a useable form or 'code' so that it can enter and be stored in memory.


Define storage.

Storage is the retention of information over time.


Define retrieval.

Retrieval is the process of locating and recovering the stored information from memory so that we are consciously aware of it.


Explain the interrelationship between the processes of encoding, storage and retrieval.

How information is encoded determines exactly what information is stored and how that information is stored, which in turn can limit what can subsequently be retrieved.


Explain the meaning of the term model of memory.

A model is used to represent, describe and explain memory and its components and processes.


Why is the Atkinson-Shiffrin multi-store model also known as the stage model?

It proposes that the flow of information moves in stages through each component of memory.


How does the Atkinson-Shiffrin multi-store model represent memory?

It represents memory as consisting of three distinguishable components called the sensory register, the short-term store and the long-term store.


What is the sensory register?

A component of the Atkinson-Shiffrin multi-store model that is the entry point for all new information into memory from the external environment.


How much visual information is stored in the sensory register and for how long?

It stores vast quantities of incoming visual information for up to several hundred milliseconds.


What happens to information in the sensory register?

Any information in the sensory register that is attended to is transferred to the short-term store. If the sensory information is not attended to, its 'memory trace' (neural imprint) simply decays and disappears forever.


What is the function of the short-term store?

The short-term store receives inputs of information from the sensory register as well as information retrieved for use from the long-term store.


Describe the capacity of the short-term store.

The short term store has a limited capacity, being able to hold up to around seven items of information at the same time.


How long can information be held in the short term store?

For about 30 seconds unless a conscious effort is made to keep it there longer (e.g. through rehearsal). Otherwise, it is lost forever.


How important is rehearsal according to the Atkinson-Shiffrin model?

Rehearsal of information in the short-term store is a crucial process. It enables the information to be further encoded and transferred to the long-term store for more permanent storage.


How did Atkinson and Shiffrin describe the long-term store?

They described it as holding information relatively permanently in a highly organised way and having an essentially unlimited capacity.


What are structural features?

Structural features are the permanent, built-in fixed features of memory that do not vary from one situation to another.


Give examples of structural features.

The three different stores/components, the function of each component, the storage capacity of each component and the duration that information can be held by each component.


What are control processes?

Control processes are selected and used by each individual and may vary across different situations. They are under the conscious 'control' of the individual and which control process is used depends on what the individual does.


Give examples of control processes.

Attention, rehearsal, retrieval.


Describe limitations of the Atkinson-Shiffrin multi-store model.

It is now clear that information from the environment does not simply 'flow' through the stores as a three-stage sequence. There is now evidence that short-term working memory consists of a number of separate, interacting components that process different types of information. Long-term memory is also made of different components.


What is a limitation of the Atkinson-Shiffrin model in relation to their assumption about rehearsal?

There is an emphasis placed on maintenance rehearsal (which has been found to be limited), while elaborative rehearsal is overlooked (also used and provides a deeper way of processing information).


Define sensory memory.

Sensory memory is the entry point of memory where new incoming sensory information is stored for a very brief period of time.


Describe the capacity of sensory memory.

We are able to store vast amounts of sensory information in sensory memory.


How is information transferred from sensory memory to short-term memory?

When attention is directed to information, we transfer the information to short-term memory and become consciously aware of it.


What is iconic memory?

Iconic memory is used to describe visual sensory memory; that is, the brief sensory memory for incoming visual information.


How long are images retained in their sensory form in iconic memory?

About one-third of a second.


What is echoic memory?

Echoic memory is used to describe auditory sensory memory; that is, the brief sensory memory for incoming auditory information.


How long is information retained in echoic memory?

About 3-4 seconds.


What is short-term memory?

A memory system with a limited storage capacity in which information is stored for a relatively short period of time, unless renewed in some way.


Describe the duration of short-term memory.

Information is retained well for the first few seconds. After 12 seconds, recall starts to decline. After 18 seconds, almost all of the information disappears unless renewed in some way.


What is the limit of short-term memory in terms of its capacity?

7 ± 2 items of information.


How is information in short-term memory lost?

Primarily through decay (not using information) or displacement by new information.


What does the term 'working memory' refer to?

The term working memory is used to emphasise the active part of memory where information we are consciously aware of is actively 'worked on' in a variety of ways. It enables us to consciously use information from sensory memory and long-term memory.


Define chunking.

The grouping of separate bits of information into a larger single unit (chunk) of information.


What is rehearsal?

Rehearsal is the process of consciously manipulating information to keep it in short-term memory, to transfer it to long-term memory or to aid storage and retrieval.


What are the two types of rehearsal?

Maintenance rehearsal and elaborative rehearsal.


Describe maintenance rehearsal.

Maintenance rehearsal involves repeating the information being remembered over and over again so that the information can be retained in STM.


What is a limitation of maintenance rehearsal?

The amount of new information that can enter STM is restricted due to its limited capacity.


What is elaborative rehearsal?

Elaborative rehearsal is the process of linking new information in a meaningful way with other new information already stored in LTM to aid in its storage and retrieval from LTM.


When does the self-reference effect occur?

When we relate new information to our personal experiences / situation.


What does Craik and Lockhart's levels of processing framework propose?

It proposes that the level at which we process information during learning determines how well it is stored in LTM. It operates on a continuum from shallow processing to deep (semantic) processing.


What is a limitation of the levels of processing framework?

The concept of level / depth has proven to be difficult to quantify and measure.


What are the four components of Baddeley and Hitch's model of working memory?

The phonological loop, the visuo-spatial sketchpad, the central executive and the episodic buffer.


What is the function and capacity of the phonological loop?

It encodes and stores auditory information, and temporarily stores a limited amount of verbal speech-like information for a brief period of time. It can hold two seconds worth of information without rehearsal.


What is the function of the visuo-spatial sketchpad?

It temporarily stores a limited amount of visual and spatial information for a brief period of time.


What is the function of the central executive?

It controls attention; integrates information from the phonological loop and visuo-spatial sketchpad, as well as information retrieved from LTM; and coordinates the flow of information between the working memory system and LTM.


What is the episodic buffer?

It is a sub-system of working memory that enables the different components of working memory to interact with LTM.


What is long-term memory?

Long-term memory is the relatively permanent memory system that holds vast amounts of information for a long time, possibly indefinitely.


In what ways is LTM different from STM?

The information held in LTM is inactive, unlike in STM where we are consciously aware of the information. In STM, information is usually stored in terms of the physical qualities of the experience, while LTM holds information with meaning (semantically).


What is procedural memory?

The memory of actions / skills that have been learned previously.


What is declarative memory?

The memory of specific facts or events. Also known as explicit memory.


What is episodic memory?

The declarative memory of specific events or personal experiences.


What is semantic memory?

The declarative memory of information we have about the world.


Describe the concept of semantic network theory.

Semantic network theory proposes that information in LTM is organised systematically in the form of overlapping networks of concepts that are interconnected and interrelated by meaningful links.


What is the serial position effect?

The serial position effect is a finding that free recall is better for items at the end or beginning of a list than for items in the middle of a list.


What are the primacy and recency effects?

The primacy effect describes superior recall of items at the beginning of a list. The recency effect describes superior recall of items at the end of a list.


Why are items in the middle of a list more likely to be forgotten?

They are presented too late to be adequately rehearsed and transferred into LTM, and too early to be retained in STM.


What was studied by Eric Richard Kandel?

Kandel studied Aplysia Californica, a type of sea slug. A very thin electrode was used to stimulate its siphon. Initially, it withdrew its gill quickly, but through habituation, did so more slowly. In the coming days and weeks, it habituated more quickly.


What were Kandel's findings?

There was an increase in the amount of neurotransmitters across Aplysia's synapses. He found that any experience resulting in memory produces physical changes in the brain at a neuronal level, strengthening connections between neurons involved and making communication easier the next time.


What is the medial temporal lobe?

The inner surface area towards the middle of the temporal lobe that includes the hippocampus, the amygdala and other cortical tissue.


Where are the hippocampi located?

In the lower region of the temporal lobe of each hemisphere.


What is a vital role of the hippocampus and medial temporal lobe?

They are involved in the formation of new long-term episodic and semantic memories, as well as playing an important role in consolidation.


What does consolidation theory propose?

Consolidation theory proposes that structural changes to the neurons in the brain occur when something new is being learned and immediately following learning. The resulting structural changes and connections form a memory of what has been learned, unless disrupted.


What does the term brain trauma refer to?

Brain trauma refers to any brain damage that impairs or interferes with the normal functioning of the brain, either temporarily or permanently.


What is a neurodegenerative disease?

A neurodegenerative disease is a disease characterised by a progressive decline in the structure, activity and function of brain tissue.


What is amnesia?

Loss of memory, either partial or complete, temporary or permanent.


What is anterograde amnesia?

Loss of memory only for information or events experienced after the person suffers brain damage.


What is retrograde amnesia?

Loss of memory for information or events experienced before the person sustains brain damage.


What is Korsakoff's syndrome?

Korsakoff's syndrome is a neurodegenerative disease involving severe memory disorders associated with damage to brain structures and areas involved with memory, such as the hippocampus.


Who does Korsakoff's syndrome mainly occur in?

Chronic, long-term alcoholics. It is linked to the prolonged loss of thiamine (Vitamin B) from their diets.


What are the symptoms of Korsakoff's syndome?

Someone who has Korsakoff's syndrome appears relatively normal, but has anterograde amnesia and is usually unaware of this. They may also have retrograde amnesia of their adult life.


What does the term dementia refer to?

Dementia describes a variety of symptoms of a large group of illnesses or neurodegenerative diseases that cause a progressive decline in mental functioning.


What are some symptoms of dementia?

Loss of mental capacity including memory loss, a decline in intellectual ability, poor judgment, poor social skills and abnormal emotional reactions.


List some types of dementia.

Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, Parkinson's disease, Korsakoff's syndrome and Huntington's disease.


Define Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disease characterised by the gradual widespread degeneration of brain neurons, causing memory loss, a decline in cognitive and social skills, confusion, irritability and personality changes.


What has been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease?

A high level of amyloid, a neurotoxin that poisons brain cells. It develops dense deposits of protein and other cell material outside neurons (plaques) and twisted fibres outside neurons (tangles).


When is working memory shown to be affected by ageing?

If a person is required to perform a complicated task requiring simultaneous storage and manipulation of information in working memory or divided attention, as activation of areas in the frontal lobes involved in STM have been found to decrease beyond 60 years of age.


What types of LTM decline through ageing?

Episodic memories decline, semantic and procedural memories remain intact.


What are possible explanations for the decline of LTM in ageing?

People have a lack of motivation, people lose confidence in their memory, or the measure of retention (e.g. recognition) may be different in people with age.


What is the most widely accepted hypothesis for the decline of LTM in ageing?

The slowing of central nervous system functioning. People are unable to process information as quickly and efficiently as they once did. An explanation is the shrinking of the frontal lobes, a normal part of ageing.