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Developmental Psychology > Working Memory > Flashcards

Flashcards in Working Memory Deck (18):

What is a neuron

cells that send and receive signals from the brain to the body.
cell body - contains biological information to keep neuron working
dendrites - receive input from other cells and send it towards the cell body
axon - conducts signal towards other neurons
synapse - junctions between the axon of one cell and dendrites of another


What are glial cells

cells that make myelin sheath around axons. increases the speed and efficiency of information transmission


What is the cortex

the brain.
cerebral cortex - grey matter = cell bodies white matter = mylenated axons

frontal lobe - working memory, planning, decision making

parietal lobe - spatial processing

occipital lobe - visual processing

temporal lobe - memory, emotions, auditory information


Describe 4 brain scanning techniques

1. EEG
2. MEG
3. fMRI
4. PET


what is experience-expectant plascticity

normal wiring of the brain is due to general human experiences.

the brain can expect these experiences and so synapses that are used often are strengthened and those rarely used are pruned


what is experience dependent plasticity

neural connections are created and reorganised throughout life due to experiences.


How does plasticity effect brain damage

children who suffer brain damage are more likely to recover - immature brain areas can take over other functions.

recovery depends on when damage occurs - harder to recover when damage occurs in early prenatal development or 1st year of life


what is working memory

attending to, gathering, maintaining and processing information

limited in capacity and duration. differs with age


what is long term memory

consists of knowledge accumulated over a lifetime

1. factual knowledge
2. conceptual knowledge
3. procedural knowledge

no capacity or duration


3 capabilities of memory development

1. basic processes - simplest and most frequently used mental activities e.g encoding, recall, recognising

2. strategies learn new strategies e.g rehearsal, selective attention

3. content knowledge - children's knowledge increases so recall improves. better at integrating new material with old. can associate new things with others


What is visual working memory

Short term storage for visual information
Used to identify changes in the world when they occur


Give 3 reasons why a fMRI not suitable for brain scanning infants and toddlers

1. Scary environment
2. Expensive
3. Have to stay still


What is an fNIRS

uses infra red light
Isn’t noisy
Don’t have to stay still


What are 3 structural changes occur in the first few years of life

1. Synaptic pruning - inactive synapses die

2. Increase in myelin

3. Increase in gray matter


What is an EEG

records electrical activity of neurons.
non invasive - can be used with infants


What is an MEG

detects magnetic fields generated by electrical currents. non invasive


What is an fMRI

detects fluctuations of cerebral blood flow to areas of the brain.
used with children over 6.


What is a PET

measures brain activity using radioactive tracer