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consists of many different systems each one containing some type of memory function


the cognitive revolution

the study of internal mental processes became an acceptable target for research
all the knowledge and scientific learning of memory is about 50 years old


multi-score model of memory

proposed by Atkinson-Shiffrin
suggested to thinkas memory as different stores that keep a record of our life events


what are stores of memory

1. sensory memory (eyes, ears)
2. short term memory (STM)
3. Long-term Memory (LTM)



like shining a light on information and selects a portion of sensory memory for further processing.
information that is put from our sensory memory to STM is put there by attention



the control process to get memory from STM-LTM



the control process to get memory from LTM-STM


iconic memory

visual sensory store (duration is no more than one second)


whole report condition

flashing a grid of 12 letters then you can ask the people to say or write down the letters that they saw, but information is only supposed to last less than 1 second in sensory memory. by the time the person was to write down a couple of the letters the rest would vanish from their memory.
people were only capable of reporting back 3-4 letters out of 12


partial report condition

George sterling developed this procedure.
- participants also watched a computer screen with 12 letters for a brief period of time. after the flash of letters they either heard a high, medium, or low tone. the tone determined which line of letters were required to report.
- in this condition people an report back 3-4 letters out of the 4 in the row.


Short term memory = working memory

-people hold information in STM using rehearsal, which is repeating information over and over again.
information can be held for 15 to 30 seconds


what are the 3 storage units in working memory

1. phonological loop: keeping sound based information active with rehearsal.
2. visuospatial sketchpad: representing visual information and where objects are in space
3. episodic buffer: representing combined auditory, visuospatial information and knowledge from LTM store.


feature binding

represents objects as a whole instead of a collection of features.


the word-length effect

we are more likely to remember a list of words if they are short, one syllable words instead of being longer multi-syllable words


changed blindness

when there is a slight change in the visual stimulus and the observer doesn't notice it.


George Miller

studied the capacity of Short term store and determined it could hold 7 +/- bits of information.



the letter sadlfsdklfjsj would be impossible for people to report back in order.


Long Term Memory (LTM)

consisting of organized and structured representations of information.


serial position effect

the effect of remembering the first and last items better than the items in the middle provides excellent support on the Atkinson-Shiffrin model


primary effect

the remembrance of the first few items.
these items from LTM because they have more time to encode than the items that come after


regency effect

-remembrance of the last few items.
-these items can go into STM


proactive interferences

information presented first interferes with memory for items that come after.
- not remembering if you have taken your prescription today


retroactive interferences

information presented later interferes with items that occurred before.
-when you cant remember what life was like when you were 10 years old most of the problem is interferences with all the experiences you have had since you were 10 getting in the way


echoic memory

auditory sensory store (duration is no more than 5 seconds max)


declarative memory (LTM)

memories that involve our conscious minds and that we can describe verbally


types of declarative memory

a(episodic memory: memory for specific autographical events in ones life. ex: the last time you went to the movies
b) semantic memory: general knowledge about the world that does not involve accessing the details of any particular life experience. ex: telling the difference between an elf and a lepracon


non-declarative memory (LTM)

memory for previously learned skills and associations that guide our thoughts, feelings and actions automatically and unconsciously. ex: driving a car


types of non-declarative memory

a) procedural memory: knowledge about how to perform actions ex: dance routine
b) classicaly conditioned responses



a method for measuring the influence of non declarative memory. involves an unconscious influence of an experiences on our subsequent thoughts and behaviors


Donald Hebb

famous neuroscientist, Canadian.
he thought that experiences strengthen the connections between neurons.
"cells that fire together, wire together"


Long-Term Potentiation

when neurons across the brain fire at the same time the bonds between them become stronger.



gradually converting STM into LTM



had brain surgery as treatment for developing epileptic seizures at 27 years old. the surgery got rid of the seizures but ended up getting amnesia. H.M was unable to change his experiences into LTM



the condition that involves the loss of at least one form of memory


retrograde amnesia

impairment in remembering experiences that occurred for some period of time before the brain trauma or surgery
inability to remember what was already known at the onest of amnesia


forgetting vs. remembering

depends on factors present at encoding and retrieval

sensory information - encoding - storage - retrieval


rote learning

merely repeating information over and over again with the goal of remembering it for the long term.
ex: actors remembering their scripts


Craik & Watkins study

participants had to remember a 4-digit number. there was a delay, and after the delay they were asked to tell them the 4 digit number. during the delay they would tell the participants a number of words to distract them from the 4 digit number. in a surprise memory test the participants were asked to write as many words as they could remember. the participants didn't do so good on remembering the words that they repeated for either 2 seconds or 18 seconds


maintenance rehearsal

mindless repetition and rote learning
supports keeping information active in working memory but is a poor way of achieving long-term remembering
adding meaning to the memory


elaborative rehearsal

involves remembering the meaning of the term that you want to remember. ex: define neuron.


shallow processing

thinking about the appearance of the word
ex: is BUTTON in lower or uppercase


intermediate processing

thinking about what the word sounds like
ex: does FOREST rhythm with FLORIST


deep processing

thinking about the meaning of the word.
ex: is ANTLER related to DEER


survival processing

thinking about information in a way relates to personal survival


modes of memory retrieval

recognition: identifying something such as an object event or person as a thing that we have encountered or experienced before.
recall: requires bringing to mind details about a prior experience


retrieval cues

thinking about matches might cue a memory for almost starting a fire
cues are hints


encoding specificity principle

successful remembering depends on the degree of match between the current situation and the event that we are trying to remember.


context dependant memory

remembering a previous day at the zoo will be easier if you are at the zoo, than if you are not


state-dependant learning

remembering will be more successful when a person's internal state at the time of encoding matches their internal state at the time of retrieval.
his can be an explanation on why we cant remember what happened at a party until having a few drinks again


mood-dependant learning

remembering will be more successful when a person's mood (happy or sad) at the time of encoding matches their mood at the time of retrieval


the role of emotion in remembering

experiences that are emotional can be more memorable because they motivate more elaborative rehearsal


Neilson and colleagues study

after studying a list of words a group of participants were shown pictures of an oral surgery and another group was shown photos of depicting on how to brush ones teeth.
the oral surgery group remembered their list of words


weapon focus

impairs the witness to identify the shooter because they are more focused on the life threatening weapon that is in front of them


flashbulb memories

events that we experience as so emotional and shocking that we will never forget any detail no matter how much time passes
mental photograph and stored it in memory



everyone achieves on a daily basis


Hermann Ebbinghaus

psychologist studied learning processes in the 1880s
he studied his own ability to remember materials. he created a list of nonsense syllables, they had the ability to be pronounced but had not meaning.
forgetting curve



methods for making information memorable



you are best to remember places you are familiar with so if you link something you need to remember to a place you know very well you are more likely toremember it



remembering lists, each letter represents the beginning letter of a word


guided imagery

kind of like hypnosis
help individuals remember an event earlier in their life by having them imagine what that type of event might have been like.
this has created many false memories


imagination inflation

the more a person imagines what an event will be like, the more likely they will be to become convinced that the imagined event happened to them



general knowledge in memory about what features are typical for certain types of situations


Elizabeth loftus

has proved that we are very capable in making errors in our remembering the details of events.


the misinformation effect

when biasing questions alter an eyewitness' memory for the event that they witnessed


Bruck & Ceci study

study where an actor acted as a janitor to 5&6 year olds at a preschool. he spent some time doing janitor work in front of one group and in front of another group the actor acted aggressively as he was cleaning, playing with the toys in the room instead
one group was interviewed that the janitor was playing with toys instead of working