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Thanks for the memories. Functional aspects of memory Richard Fielding Department of Community Medicine HKU. Outline. Learning objectives Memory concepts Levels of processing Storage: maintaining information Retrieval Forgetting Memory breakdown Improving memory Conclusions.

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Thanks for the memories

Thanks for the memories

Functional aspects of memory

Richard Fielding

Department of Community Medicine

HKU


Outline
Outline

  • Learning objectives

  • Memory concepts

  • Levels of processing

  • Storage: maintaining information

  • Retrieval

  • Forgetting

  • Memory breakdown

  • Improving memory

  • Conclusions


Learning objectives
Learning objectives

  • Outline the main performance characteristics of sensory or peripheral registers

  • Outline the main components and features of working (short-term) memory (STM)

  • Outline the main features of long term memory (LTM) and describe at least three components of LTM

  • Define encoding and stimulus organization influences on LTM

  • Give common reasons for “forgetting”.


Memory concepts
Memory concepts

  • Functionally, memory has three stages:

    ENCODING STORAGE RETRIEVAL

  • “Early” versus “late” selection of input.

  • Available attentional capacity is determining criteria for input selection stage.

  • Levels of processing: sensory, shallow, intermediate, deep.


Levels of processing
Levels of processing

  • Sensory encoding - most superficial: sensory stores “buffer” registers; 200ms. Eidetic; echoic registers.

  • Attentional theory of remembering.

    • Structural encoding

    • Phonemic encoding

    • Semantic encoding


Storage maintaining information
Storage: maintaining information

  • Information-processing models of memory

    input

    Sensory store

    attentionrehearsal

    Short-term (Working) memory

    storageretrieval

    Long-term memory


Schematic of working memory
Schematic of working memory

Articulatory loop

LTM

Executive Control System

Visuo-spatial sketchpad


Storage in ltm
Storage in LTM

  • Rehearsal of data in STM facilitates transfer to LTM - (maintenance versus elaborative)

  • Primacy and recency effects (first and last information preferentially stored)

  • Organization: if data not organized in LTM, impossible to find anything: clustering, concept hierarchies, semantic networks, schemas/scripts.


Retrieval
Retrieval

  • Recall a function of memory strength:

    • weak, strong, weak consistent pattern of recall.

  • Use of retrieval cues:

    • tip-of-the-tongue phenomena = retrieval failure

    • cues, such as first letter, aid recall of words.

    • Event contexts: (crime scene reconstructions)

    • mood: “state-dependent memory” vs. mood congruence

    • “reconstructive” memory


Forgetting
Forgetting

  • Forgetting is rapid for meaningless data ~35% retention after 1 day.

  • Why?

    • Ineffective encoding

    • Trace decay

    • Interference (retroactive / pro-active)

    • Retrieval failure.


Memory breakdown
Memory breakdown

  • Amnesia - memory loss.

    • Retrograde amnesia: loss of memories for events prior to injury

    • Anterograde amnesia: loss of memories for events following injury.

  • Do not confuse loss of content storage/ recall with loss of ability to follow procedure.

  • Implicit memory (retention when remembering not intended), mostly unaffected by amnesia. Suggests different memory systems involved.

  • Declarative (fact) vs. Procedural (skill) memory


Improving memory
Improving memory

  • Adequate rehearsal

  • Distributed practice

  • Minimize interference

  • Use deep processing

  • Emphasize transfer-appropriate processing

  • Enrich encoding with verbal mnemonics

  • Enrich encoding with visual imagery

  • Organize information


Conclusions
Conclusions

  • Memory processes extensive and complex

  • Numerous systems for memory and “types” of memory

  • Memory is not perfect recall, it is partially reconstructive

  • Relevance to medical practice in obtaining history from patients and giving information to patients.


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