Chapter 8 - Models for Explaining Human Memory Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 8 - Models for Explaining Human Memory Deck (35):

What is encoding?

The process of putting information into a form which will allow it to be stored.


What is storage?

The process of putting information into the appropriate areas of the brain so they can be accessed easily

  • Dynamic process where memories can change overtime
  • Memories are rough replica's rather than exact copies


What is retrieval?

The process of obtaining information back for use. This relies on using the right cues so the information can be accurately located in our semantic networks for use.


What is the process of memory?

Memory depends on three sequential processes called encoding, storage and retrieval.

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What is the multi store model of memory?

The Multi-Store Model of Memory was originally proposed by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968)

Stores of Memory:

  • Sensory Memory
  • Short-term Memory
  • Long-term Memory

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What is sensory memory?

  • Information held in sensory memory has not yet entered conscious awareness
  • Information is received in it's raw form before traces fade away or decay


Functions of Sensory Memory:

  • Prevent us from being overwhelmed
  • Duration is brief, but long enough for our brain to determine whether the incoming sensory information is important enough to be transferred to our short-term memory by paying attention  


What is a Tachistoscope?

Flashes stimuli briefly on a blank screen.


Sperling Researcher on Memory

  • Participants flashed 12 symbols/letters for 1/20th of a second and asked to recall as many as possible.
  • Most recalled 4 symbols


What is Short-Term Memory (STM)?

Where mental manipulation takes place

  • this is where we become aware of information that has been selected through attention and passed through the sensory memory store


  • STM DURATION: 12-30 seconds
    • ​​when capacity is reached, the information can only be put into STM by displacing existing information.


How can we increase the capacity of STM?


Grouping together smaller/single items into larger single units

i.e. phone no. xxxx xxx xxx 


How can we increase the duration in the STM?

Maintenance Rehearsal

  • STM will last 12-30 seconds with no interference
  • Maintenance rehearsal allows us to keep information in STM for longer


  • Verbal
    • Vocal: saying words out loud
    • Sub-vocal: thinking words silently
  • Non-Verbal
    • Visualizing: keeping a picture in ones mind
    • Muscular: imagining how it feels to perform an action 


What is long-term memory (LTM)?

  • Unlimited capacity
  • information encoded by its meaning and stored in semantic networks
  • Information is generally encoded semantically but can also be held as visual, acoustic and procedural information


What is elaborative rehearsal?

Where new information is given meaning to other information already in LTM thus leading to deeper encoding


What is salience?

Something personal or relevant to aid encoding


What are mnemonic devices?

A form of elaborative rehearsal using semantic network techniques.


What is iconic memory?

Refers to visual sensory memory. Icon is from the Greek word meaning 'image'.

  • Duration: 0.3 seconds


What is echoic memory?

Refers to our auditory (sound) sensory memory.

  • Duration: 3-4 seconds


What evidence supports the multi-store model of memory?

2 types of evidence in support of multi-store model (research & case studies)

  • Atkinsons & Shiffrins - information moves between different memory stores
  • Free Recall Studies - Serial Position Effect
  • Studies with patients with brain damage


What is the serial position effect?

Where immediate free recall of items at the beginning and end is remembered better than those in the middle.

  • Primacy Effect: thought to have gone to LTM
  • Recency Effect: thought to still be in the STM
  • Asymptote: Items are either not stored in LTM or are displaced from STM.

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Criticisms of the Atkinson and Shiffrin Model

  • Does not explain the interaction between different memory stores
  • Doesn't show why the encoding of information changes between stores


What is Baddeley and Hitch's Model of Working Memory?

  • STM is seen as a register that actively works information (working memory!)

Four separate but interdependent aspects of working memory (STM):

  • Storage Components
    • Phonological Loop
    • Visuospatial Sketchpad
  • Functional Components
    • Central Executive
    • Episodic Buffer

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What is the phonological loop?

Storage Component

Auditory working memory stage


What is the visuospatial sketchpad?

Storage Component

Visual working memory stage


What is the central executive?

Functional Component

Integrates other components of working memory

  • decides which information from LTM is needed to help process information in working memory
  • decides which information should be transferred to LTM
  • regulates and controls all cognitive processes


What is the episodic buffer?

Functional Component

  • helps retrieve information from LTM
  • helps encode information which the central executive has selected to be placed in LTM
  • Links, organizes and  sequentially orders all information from all parts


Working memory and multi-tasking

  • Different memory stores are relatively independent
  • If tasks use same memory store the task being performed is more difficult
  • Better working memory = higher IQ, reading level and comprehension level


Levels of Processing - Craik and Lockhart

  • Not made up of different memory stores
  • Continous dimension where memories are encoded depending on their relatedness
  • The deeper the processing of information, the greater the chance of it being retrieved
  • Levels of Processing: number & type of associations made between new and old knowledge (elaborative methods)

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Implicit and Explicit

Behaviours! (not memory stores)

  • Implicit
    • unintentional remembering (unconscious procedural memories)
    • amygdala
  • Explicit
    • intentional remembering (declarative memories)
    • hippocampus


Organisation of LTM

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What are procedural memories?

Type of long-term memories involving processes and skills about how to perform a task which enables one to carry out a course of action


What are declarative memories?

Is a type of long-term memory of specific facts or events which can be brought consciously to mind and usually communicated to others

Divided into two sub categories: Episodic and Semantic


What are episodic memories?

A form of declarative memory which contains autobiographical information about personal events (episodes) and experiences in one's life and contexts them in which they occur

i.e. date, place


What are semantic memories?

A form of declarative memory which involves specialized information and knowledge of factual information about the world

i.e. general knowledge


What is the semantic network theory?

  • Collins & Quillan (1969) suggested a model to explain how the LTM was organised
  • Suggested that NODES of information are stored in interconnecting and overlapping hierarchy of concepts that are linked
  • The shorter the LINK, the closer the relationship, and the faster information will be retrieved

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What is the spreading activation model?

Collins & Loftus (1975):

  • Activation of the NODES depends on the strength of the LINK (the association) between relevant nodes
  • The shorter the LINK, the shorter the association, and thus the stronger the association the more likely they will be activated
  • This model explains why we automatically think up of associated words (e.g. say hear up, think down)