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Memory - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The outcome of learning is memory; how do we remember and what causes forgetting

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What is Memory?

  • The outcome of learning

  • 2 basic categories of learning:

    1. Non-associative

    Results from an experience with a single type of event

    2. Associative

    Caused by the conjunction of 2 or more events

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Sensory Storage

Information Processing Approach





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More on Information Processing

  • Sensory Registry (Sensory Storage)

    Data is stored in full detail in the sense organ for a fraction of a second.

    Almost unlimited capacity



    Iconic storage

    Eidetic imagery


    Echoic storage


    The selective filtering of incoming information

    The “cocktail-party” phenomenon

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More on Information Processing

  • Short-Term Memory

    Also called “working memory” or “present conscious memory”

    Capacity limited to 7 +/- 2 chunks of information at a time

    Time limited to 1.5 to 2 seconds unless rehearsed

    The serial-position effect

    The primacy & recency effects

    Encoding in STM

    Phonological & visual coding

    Maintaining information in STM

    Rote or Maintenance Rehearsal

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More on Information Processing

  • Long-Term Memory

    Almost unlimited capacity

    Encoding in LTM by imagery & meaning

    Storing in LTM by a semantic treeor semantic network

    Transferring from STM to LTM by Elaborative Rehearsal

    Associative organization

    Maintaining in LTM through rote and elaborative rehearsal

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Associations the Brain Makes

  • Everything we see, hear, touch, taste, smell, taste and think is interwoven with associations from past experiences. Basically, they give significance to the world around us. These associations contribute to our individual profile as a person. What we become conscious of depends on the number of associations triggered by a particular event. These associations are influenced by factors such as expectations, motivations, hunger, fatigue, temperature, & biochemistry. We don’t have to be conscious of the associations for them to affect us.

Boolean Operator Process Brain Association

AND More Specific Items Same as ….

NOT Excludes items Different than …

OR Alternative items Similar to …

NEAR Includes items Almost …


Same as … Cougar & Puma

Different than … Tiger & Lion

Similar to … Leopard & Jaguar

Almost … Felines

In the 19th Century, an English mathematician and logician, George Boole (1815-1864) devised a logical foundation for making sense or what appears to be illogical. This foundation became known as Boolean Operators or Boolean Logic. This is the same kind of logic used in computers, on the Internet, and in the brain as it makes associations. Boole described the four operators as: AND, OR, NOT, and NEAR.

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  • Amnesia

    Retrograde Amnesia

    Loss of memory for events preceding an accident, injury, or disease without loss of earlier memories.

    Anterograde Amnesia

    Loss of memory for events after an accident, injury, or disease but not necessarily for subsequent memories.

  • Diseases of Memory

    Alzheimer’s Disease

    Parkinson’s Disease

    Korsakoff’s Syndrome

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The Interference Theory of Forgetting

  • Retroactive Interference

    New memories block the retrieval of old memories; new learning interferes or inhibits your ability to remember something you had learned.

  • Proactive Interference

    Old memories block the retrieval of newer memories: old learning interferes or inhibits your ability to learn something now.

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Summary of Forgetfulness

Concept Description Example


Decay Theory Gradual fading of memory as a Facts you learned in school gradually

function of time fade out of memory over time.

Interference Theory Disruption of memory caused by After sifting through your psychology

interference of previously learned lecture, you forget what you learned in

material or newly learned material chemistry class the hour before.

Retrieval TheoryFailure to access material stored in You have difficulty remembering

memory because of encoding failure something you know is stored in

or lack of retrieval cues memory.

Motivated Forgetting Repression of anxiety-provoking You cannot remember a traumatic

material childhood experience.

Retrograde AmnesiaLoss of memory of past events After suffering a blow to the head in a

car accident, you are unable to remem-

ber details of the accident itself.

Anterograde AmnesiaLoss of impairment of the ability to Due to a brain disorder, you find it

form or store new memories difficult to retain new information

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Improper storage cues

The memories weren’t given the appropriate cues to encode them properly

Memory changes over time

Neuronal and biochemical changes reconstruct & deconstruct memories

Memory’s Fallacies

1. Transience: The forgetting that occurs with the passing of time.

2. Absent-mindedness: Often attributed to 4 things, 1) divided attention, 2) insufficient attention at the time of encoding, 3) “operating on automatic,” and 4) encoding at an extremely shallow level.

3.Blocking: Retrieval cues are unavailable even though a word or name has been encoded and stored.

4. Misattribution: Recalling events that never happened or recalling them incorrectly or at the wrong time or place. This occurs in the absence of suggestion.

5. Suggestibility: The tendency to use misleading information from external cues into personal recollections.

6.Bias: Memories of the past are rescripted to fit your present views and needs (past events are filtered by current knowledge, memories are shaped to your present interpretation of the world, the past is constructed as similar or different than the present).

7.Persistence: Remembering things you wish to forget (failures, traumas, sadness, disappointments, etc.).

The Fallibility of Memory

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State Dependent Memory

Learning is best when you are in a particular state of mind and best remembered when in that same state.

Context Dependent Memory

It’s easier to remember something when you’re in the same context in which you learned it.

Situational Factors in Memory

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Why Do We Forget?

  • The lower brain checks out emotional possibilities & alerts the cortex

  • Translation from STM to LTM involves processing the meaning of the stimulus & categorizes it.

  • SIS is clear but each new impression destroys the one before.

  • The primacy & recency effects

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Styles of Retrieval

1. Sequential Search

Going through each piece of information until the appropriate information is found.

2. Using Retrieval Cues

Retrieval is through a semantic network of associations.

Improving Memory


Rehearsal & Repetition



Method of Loci




Retrieving Information