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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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