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Chapter 9: Memory. The persistence of learning over time through the storage and retrieval of information. 10/23. Pick up an article from the stool at the front. We will start memory today, so this article is related to memory. Think about:

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Chapter 9: Memory

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Chapter 9 memory

Chapter 9: Memory

The persistence of learning over time through the storage and retrieval of information.

10 23


  • Pick up an article from the stool at the front.

  • We will start memory today, so this article is related to memory.

  • Think about:

  • How was Alan Newton convicted of rape (sentenced 40 years)?

  • In 1994, what did Alan Newton file? What happened to his request?

  • What is the Innocence Project? How did they help?

10 25


  • Here is your freebie for memory!

    It is easier to recall information that has just been presented when the information:

  • Consists of random letters rather than words

  • Is seen rather than heard

  • Is heard rather than seen

  • Is experienced in an unusual context

10 26


  • Happy Friday!!

  • Have out your memory outline from last class

The memory phenomena

The Memory Phenomena

  • Example of a false flashbulb memory (a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event)

  • President Bush’s chief of staff, Andrew Card, whispering the news of 9/11 to Bush in a Florida Classroom (2nd airplane hit)

  • 3 month later, when asked how he heard of the first attack, the president recalled “sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower-the tv was obviously on, and I used to fly myself and I said, “There’s one terrible pilot.”

  • Problem was no one saw the first plane hit live on tv, nor was there any footage available at the time.

  • Blantant lie or conspiracy?

  • No, psychologists say he suffered from a textbook case of false recall.

The memory process

The Memory Process

Three stage process…

  • Encoding: The processing of getting information into the memory system.

  • Storage: The retention of encoded material over time.

  • Retrieval: The process of getting the information out of memory storage.

The basic memory processes

The Basic Memory Processes

3 stages of memory storage

3 Stages of Memory Storage

Memory storage

Memory Storage

Three Box Model

Sensory memory

Sensory Memory

  • A split second holding tank for ALL sensory information.

  • Sperling’s research on Iconic Memory-fleeting photographic memory. For an instant our eyes register an exact representation of a scene (only for a few tenths of a second however)

  • Echoic Memory-sensory memory for auditory stimuli; if attention is elsewhere sounds and words can still be recalled within 3 or 4 seconds.

Short term working memory

Short Term (working) Memory

  • Lloyd and Margaret Peterson experiment with short term memory

  • Limited in duration as well as capacity.

  • Ex. Holds about 7 (plus or minus 2) items for about 20 seconds.

  • We recall digits better than letters.

Short term memory test

Short Term Memory Test

  • On a scrap sheet of paper number 1-10.

  • You will see a string of digits for 10 seconds. DO NOT write anything on your paper until the numbers disappear and you receive an instruction to recall the numbers.

  • Think about any strategies you are using to remember the numbers. DON’T CHEAT

Test your short term memory

9 2 5

Now, recall the numbers

8 6 4 2

Now, recall the numbers

3 7 6 5 4

Now, recall the numbers

6 2 7 4 1 8

Now, recall the numbers

0 4 0 1 4 7 3

Now, recall the numbers

1 9 2 2 3 5 3 0

Now, recall the numbers

4 8 6 8 5 4 3 3 2

Now, recall the numbers

2 5 3 1 9 7 1 7 6 8

Now, recall the numbers

8 5 1 2 9 6 1 9 4 5 0

Now, recall the numbers

9 1 8 5 4 6 9 4 2 9 3 7

Now, recall the numbers

Test Your Short-Term Memory

Memory test 2

Memory Test #2

  • Memorize the following words (List 1)

  • read, pages, letters, school, study, reading, stories, sheets, cover, pen, pencil, magazine, paper, words

Memory test 21

Memory Test #2

  • Now…write down any words from the following list which were on the List 1:

  • house, pencil, apple, shoe, book, flag, rock, train, ocean, hill, music, water, glass, school

Memory test 22

Memory Test #2

  • Did you say that "book" was on list 1? Only pencil and school were on list 1.

  • Why do so many people think “book” was on List 1?

Memory test 3

Memory Test #3

  • Memorize the following words (List 1)

  • sheets, pillow, mattress, blanket, comfortable, room, dream, lay, chair, rest, tired, night, dark, time

Memory test 31

Memory Test #3

  • Now…write down any words from the following list which were on the List 1:

  • door, tree, eye, song, pillow, juice, orange, radio, rain, car, sleep, cat, dream, eat

Memory test 32

Memory Test #3

  • Did you say that "sleep" was on list 1? Only pillow and dream were on List 1

  • Why do so many people think “sleep” was on List 1?

  • Constructive Memory

    • This is an example of a false memory. Semantic encoding can lead to semantic errors. Many people get a “false positive” error when a word shows up in List 2 that is semantically similar to many words in List 1.

Short term memory organizational strategies

Short Term Memory Organizational Strategies

  • Chunking: Organizing items into familiar, manageable units.

  • Mnemonic devices-Memory aids, use vivid imagery (greeks) & organization

  • Rehearsal-

    Conscious repetition of information

  • P. 359 example

Memorize the following letters


Now try again…


"Mary Very Easily Makes Jam Saturday Unless No Plums."

Long term memory

Long Term Memory

  • Unlimited storehouse of information.

  • Survive electrical blackouts (hamster experiment)

  • Hormones and emotion can disrupt and aid memory.

  • Stronger emotions…stronger memories? Weaker emotions….weaker memories?

  • Emotion-triggered hormonal changes help explain why we remember exciting or shocking events.

Neural basis for memory

Neural Basis for Memory

  • Synapsis (remember?) deals with memory.

  • Long term potentiation-An increase in a synapse’s firing potential after brief, rapid stimulation. Neural basis for learning and remembering associations.

Neural basis for memory1

Neural Basis for Memory

  • Memory –to-be enters the cortex through the senses then goes into the brain’s depths

  • Amnesia-the loss of memory. Brain Damage example

  • Memory is not one unified conscious system. Two systems working together:

  • Impicit (procedural) Memory: Retention independent of conscious recollection

  • Explicit (declarative) Memory: Memory of facts and experiences one can consciously know and “declare.”



  • Explicit (declarative memory)

  • Damage to this area disrupts memory.

  • Hippocampus is in the limbic system and is lateralized (review?)

  • Left side? Trouble with verbal information

  • Right side? Trouble with visual information

  • Acts as a loading dock for information to storage.

  • Last brain structures to mature-children

The cerebellum

The Cerebellum

  • Implicit memory

  • Physician and patient with brain amnesia

  • Classical conditioning is formed and stored here

  • Damage here results in inability to develop conditioned reflexes

The brain and memory

The Brain and Memory

  • The Hippocampus regulates explicit memories

  • The Cerebellum regulates implicit memories

  • Memories involve many other brain regions

Chapter 9 memory

Explicit Memories-Declarative memory. Memory of facts and experiences that one can consciously know and “declare.”

  • Episodic Memories

    • Flashbulb memories

  • Semantic Memories

    • General knowledge

Implicit memories retention independent of conscious recollection

Implicit Memories-Retention independent of conscious recollection

  • Procedural Memories

  • Conditioned Memories

  • Not effected by amnesia (loss of memory)

How we encode

How We Encode

  • Automatically-unconscious encoding of incidental information, such as space, time, and frequency, and of well learned information (word meanings)

    • Spatial relationships:

    • Time and sequences

  • With Effort- encoding that requires attention and conscious effort

    • Rehearsal

    • Ebbinghaus: Studied verbal memory.

      The amount remembered depends on the time spent learning.

    • Interesting phenomena:

      Next In Line Effort

      Information before sleep

      Spacing Effect

Spacing effect

Spacing Effect

Ebbinghaus’ Retention Curve

DON’T CRAM!!!!!!!!!

We retain information better when our rehearsal is spread out over time

Take out a piece of paper and name all the presidents

Take out a piece of paper and name all the Presidents…

Serial positioning effect

Serial Positioning Effect

You remember the first and last in a series better than the middle

Serial position curve

Serial Position Curve

What you encode

What You Encode

  • Visual Encoding: Images.

  • Acoustic Encoding: Sounds, especially the sounds of words.

  • Semantic Encoding: Meaning.

Encoding experiment

Encoding Experiment

As each word flashes on the screen, answer the question at the bottom of the page.




1. Is the word in capital letters?

2. Does the word rhyme with train?

3. Would the word fit in this sentence?:

The girl put the_____ on the table.

Long term potentiation

Long Term-Potentiation

  • The prolonged strengthening of neural firing

  • It creates better memories



  • Out of the three words that were flashed, write down any words that you remember.

Take out a piece of paper

Take out a piece of paper…

  • Name the seven dwarves…

Now name them…

Was it easy or hard

Was it easy or hard?

  • It depends on several things….

  • If you like Disney movies?

  • When was the last time you have seen the movie?

  • Distractions?

Memory retrieval

Memory Retrieval



you must identify the target from possible targets

multiple-choice tests

  • you must retrieve the information from your memory

  • fill-in-the blank or essay tests

Retrieving by association

Retrieving By Association

  • Priming-The activation, often unconsciously, of particular associations in memory.

  • William James

  • “memoryless memory”- memory without explicit remembering, invisible memory

Context matters

Context Matters!!!

  • Flashbulb Memories

  • Mood Congruent Memory

  • State Dependent Memory

  • Déjà vu

The seven sins of memory

The Seven Sins of Memory

  • Absent Mindedness- inattention to detail produces encoding failure

  • Transcience-storage decay over time

  • Blocking-inaccessibility of stored information

  • Misattribution-confusing the source of information

  • Suggestibility-The lingering effects of misinformation

  • Bias-belief-colored recollections

  • Persistence-Unwanted memories



  • causes:

    • Encoding Failure-Without effort, many memories never form. Pennies

    • Decay

      • If you don’t use it, you lose it…

      • Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve

    • Interference

      • Other things get in the way

      • Proactive: disruptive effect of prior learning on the recall of new information.

      • Retroactive: disruptive effect of new learning on the recall of old information

Chapter 9 memory

Which penny is the real thing?

Ebbinghaus forgetting curve

Ebbinghaus’ Forgetting Curve



Getting a new bus number and forgetting old bus number.

  • Retroactive Interference: new information blocks out old information.

  • Proactive Interference: old information blocks out new information.

Calling your new girlfriend by old girlfriends name.

Interference and forgetting

Interference and Forgetting

Motivated learning

Motivated learning

  • Sigmund Freud’s concept of Repression-In Psychoanalytic Theory, the basic defense mechanism that banishes from consciousness anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories.

  • Self sensor painful information



  • Anterograde amnesia

    • Inability to remember anything after the injury (ante = front)

  • Retrograde amnesia

    • Inability to remember anything from before the injury (retro = back)

Memory construction

Memory Construction

  • Memories are not always what they seem.

  • Elizabeth Loftus

  • A constructed memory is a created memory.

  • Misinformation effect

Impact of leading questions on eyewitness testimony

Impact of Leading Questions on Eyewitness Testimony

The effect of schemas on recall

The Effect of Schemas on Recall

Schemas = Mental representations of categories of objects, events and people.

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