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Chapter 5 Memory. An Interesting Phenomenon: Flashbulb Memories. See in class!. Topics to Explore. Stages of Memory Encoding Information into Memory Retrieving Information from Memory Improving Memory. Part 1 Stages of Memory. Memory: Key Terms.

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Chapter 5 memory l.jpg

Chapter 5Memory


An interesting phenomenon flashbulb memories l.jpg
An Interesting Phenomenon:Flashbulb Memories

See in class!


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Topics to Explore

  • Stages of Memory

  • Encoding Information into Memory

  • Retrieving Information from Memory

  • Improving Memory


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Part 1Stages of Memory


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Memory: Key Terms

Memory: Active system that stores, organizes, alters, and recovers (retrieves) information

Encoding: Converting information into a useable form

Storage: Holding this information in memory

Retrieval: Taking memories out of storage


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Stages of Memory

  • Sensory Memory

  • Short-Term Memory

  • Long-Term Memory


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Sensory Memory

Sensory Memory: Storing an exact copy of incoming information for less than a second; the first stage of memory

Icon: A fleeting mental image or visual representation

Echo: After a sound is heard, a brief continuation of the sound in the auditory system


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A Little Demonstration of Sensory Memory

See in class!


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A Little Demonstration of Sensory Memory

See in class!


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Short-Term Memory (STM)

Short-Term Memory (STM): second stage of memory; stores small amounts of information briefly; very sensitive to interruption or interference

Phonetically: Storing information by sound; how most things are stored in STM

Memory Span: STM is limited to holding seven (plus or minus two) information bits at once

Chunk: Meaningful units of information in memory


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Storing Info in STM

Recoding: Reorganizing or modifying information in STM

Maintenance Rehearsal: Repeating information silently to prolong its presence in STM

Elaborative Rehearsal: Links new information with existing memories and knowledge in LTM; Good way to transfer STM information into LTM


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A Little Demonstration of Short-Term Memory

See in class!


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A Little Demonstration of Short-Term Memory

See in class!


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A Little Demonstration of Chunking

See in class!


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Long-Term Memory (LTM)

  • Long-Term Memory (LTM)

    • Storing information relatively permanently

    • Stored on basis of meaning and importance


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Types of Long-Term Memory

  • Explicit (declarative) memory (facts): factual knowledge & personal experiences

    • Semantic Memory: Impersonal facts and everyday knowledge

    • Episodic Memory: Personal experiences linked with specific times and places

      Implicit (procedural) Memory (skills): Long-term memories of conditioned responses and learned skills, e.g., driving


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Amnesiac patient was able to solve tower puzzle in 31 moves (minimum possible), but each time he began, he swore he couldn’t solve the puzzle. Evidence that skill memory and fact memory are separate and distinct.

Example: Skill vs. Fact Memory


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Front of brain is related to episodic memory. Back of brain is related to semantic memory.

Graphic: Patterns of Blood Flowin Cerebral Cortex


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Memory Organizational Chart is related to semantic memory.


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Loss of Memory is related to semantic memory.

  • Anterograde amnesia: the inability to form new explicit long-term memories for events following brain trauma or surgery. Explicit memories formed before are left intact. Cause possibly is damage to hippocampus

  • Retrograde amnesia: the disruption of memory for the past, especially espisodic memory. After brain trauma or surgery, there often is retrograde amnesia for events occurring just before.

  • Infantile/child amnesia: the inability as adults to remember events that occurred in our lives before about 3 years of age. Due possibly to fact that hippocampus is not fully developed.


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Serial Position Effect is related to semantic memory.

  • Recall: Direct retrieval of facts or information

  • Serial Position Effect:

  • Hardest to recall items in the middle of a list

  • Primacy effect: easier to remember items first in a list than items in the middle, because first items are studied the most

  • Recency effect: easier to remember items last in a list than items in the middle, because the last items were last studied


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Graphic: Serial Position Effect is related to semantic memory.


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A Little Demonstration: is related to semantic memory.Serial Position Effect

See in class!


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A Little Demonstration: is related to semantic memory.Serial Position Effect

See in class!


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Graphic: Stages of Memory is related to semantic memory.


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Sensory is related to semantic memory.

Large capacity

Contains sensory information

Very brief retention (1/2 sec for visual; 2 secs for auditory)

Short Term

Limited capacity

Acoustically encoded

Brief storage (up to 30 seconds w/o rehearsal)

Conscious processing of information

Comparison of Three Stages of Memory

  • Long Term

  • Unlimited capacity

  • Semantically encoded

  • Storage presumed permanent

  • Information highly organized


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Part 2 is related to semantic memory.Encoding Information into Memory


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Types of Processing is related to semantic memory.

  • Automatic processing: memory processing that occurs subconsciously and does not require attention.

    Example: How many of you can sing the theme song for Gilligan’s Island? How many learned it on purpose?

  • Effortful processing: memory processing that occurs consciously and requires attention

    Example: How many of you can name all of the divisions of the nervous system? How many learned it on purpose?


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Levels-of-Processing Theory is related to semantic memory.

  • Levels-of-processing theory: a theory of information processing in memory that assumes that semantic processing leads to better long-term memory

  • Physical memory processing: encoding the word “birthday” by the way it is spelt, b – i – r – t – h – d – a – y

  • Acoustic memory processing: encoding the word “birthday” by the way it sounds

  • Semantic memory processing: encoding the word “birthday” by its meaning, “a day of joy and celebration commemorating the anniversary of one’s birth.”


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Factors Affecting Encoding is related to semantic memory.

  • Encoding specificity principle: the principle that the environmental cues present at the time information is encoded into long-term memory serve as the best retrieval cues for the information.

  • State-dependent memory: long-term memory retrieval is best when a person’s physiological state at the time of encoding and retrieval is the same.

  • Mood-dependent memory: long-term memory retrieval is best when a person’s mood state at the time of encoding and retrieval is the same.

  • Mood-congruence effect: long-term memory retrieval is best for experiences and information that are congruent with a person’s current mood.


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Example: Mood & Memory is related to semantic memory.


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Improving Encoding is related to semantic memory.

  • Mnemonics: a memory aid

  • Method of loci: a mnemonic in which sequential pieces of information are encoded by associating them with sequential locations in a very familiar room or location.

  • Peg-word system: a mnemonic in which the items in a list to be remembered are associated with the sequential items in a memorized jingle (“Every good boy does fine”)

  • Spacing (distributed study) effect: long-term memory is better when spaced study is used than when massed study (cramming) is used


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Part 3 is related to semantic memory.Retrieving Information from Memory


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Measuring Retrieval is related to semantic memory.

  • Recall: a measure of long-term memory retrieval that requires the reproduction of the information with essentially no retrieval cues.

  • Recognition: a measure of long-term memory retrieval that only requires the identification of the information in the presence of retrieval cues.

  • Relearning: the savings method of measuring long-term memory retrieval, in which the measure is the amount of time saved when learning information for the second time.


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Example: is related to semantic memory.Recall versus Recognition

Example of Recall:

The process of storing information in memory is called ______________.

Example of Recognition:

The process of storing information in memory is called:

a. rehearsal b. deep processing

c. encoding d. retrieval


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Forgetting Due to is related to semantic memory.Encoding Failure?

Encoding failure theory: a theory that proposes that forgetting is due to the failure to encode the information into long-term memory


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A Little Demonstration is related to semantic memory.

See in class!


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Which is the Real Penny? is related to semantic memory.

See in class!


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Forgetting Due to is related to semantic memory.Decay in Storage?

Storage decay theory: a theory that proposes that forgetting is due to the decay of physical traces of the information in the brain; periodically using the information helps to maintain it in the brain

The “Use it or lose it” theory!


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Graphic: Forgetting Curve is related to semantic memory.


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Forgetting Due to is related to semantic memory.Interference?

Interference theory: a theory that proposes that forgetting is due to other information in memory interfering

Proactive interference: old information interferes with the retrieval of newly-stored information

Retroactive Interference: newly-stored information interferes with the retrieval of previously-stored information


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Retroactive vs. Proactive Interference is related to semantic memory.


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Percent recalled dependent on number of previous lists memorized

Graph: Effect of Interference


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Forgetting Due to memorizedLoss of Cues?

Cue-dependent theory: a theory that proposes that forgetting is due to the unavailability of the retrieval cues necessary to locate the information in long-term memory.

This is one explanation for why we do not seem to have many memories from early childhood (ages 3 to 6 or so)


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Part 4 memorizedImproving Memory


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Some Ways to Improve Memory memorized

Knowledge of Results: Feedback allowing you to check your progress

Recitation: Summarizing aloud while you are learning

Rehearsal: Reviewing information mentally (silently)

Selection: Selecting most important concepts to memorize

Organization: Organizing difficult items into chunks; a type of reordering


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More Ways to Improve Memory memorized

Whole Learning: Studying an entire package of information at once, like a poem

Part Learning: Studying subparts of a larger body of information (like text chapters)

Progressive Part Learning: Breaking learning task into a series of short sections

Serial Position Effect: Making most errors while remembering the middle of the list

Overlearning: Studying is continued beyond bare mastery


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Yet More Ways to memorizedImprove Memory

  • Spaced Practice: Alternating study sessions with brief rest periods

  • Massed Practice: Studying for long periods without rest periods

    • Lack of sleep decreases retention; sleep aids consolidation

    • Hunger decreases retention


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Memory & Sleep memorized


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A Last Method to Help Memory memorized

  • Mnemonics: Memory “tricks”; any kind of memory system or aid

    • Using mental pictures

    • Making things meaningful

    • Making information familiar

    • Forming bizarre, unusual or exaggerated mental associations