Cognitive ProcessesPSY 334 Chapter 7 – Human Memory: Retention and Retrieval May 16, 2003
Memory Errors • When exact memory is needed, inferences and reconstructive processes can be misleading. • Loftus -- additional details and suggestion can change what is recalled. • John Dean’s recall vs what Nixon recorded – gist was right but not details. • False memory syndrome – memories that never happened can be “planted.”
Structure and Retrieval • Memory is helped by prompts that are closely associated with what is to be recalled. • We prompt ourselves when trying to recall. • Organized material is easier to learn because it provides a structure for prompting recall: • Trees for minerals, animals, clothing, transportation.
Context Effects • Recall is better if the physical context during learning is also present during testing. • Experimenter clothing, setting. • Under water. • Eich suggests that context effects depend on integrating context and the material to be learned.
Mood Congruence • Bower et al. – hypnotized subjects and induced positive or negative mood. • Recall better if hypnotized into the same mood during testing as during learning. • Again, the effect may depend upon integration of mood with material learned. • Mood congruence – easier to remember memories congruent with the current mood.
State-Dependence • Material is easier to recall if people return to the same emotional and physical state as during learning. • Drinking – some state dependence together with overall debilitating effect on memory. • Marijuana and tobacco. • Caffeine. • Studying when not intoxicated is better.
Encoding Specificity • The other items presented during learning provide a context too. • Presentation of cues in as close to the original learning context aids recall. • Encoding specificity principle: • The probability of recalling an item depends on the similarity of its encoding at test to its original encoding at study.
Test of Encoding Specificity • Watkins & Tulving: • Study pairs of words • Generate associates for words & indicate which were among studied words. • Cued with first word of pair. • 61% recall in cued task, <54% in associate recognition task. • Recognition generally produces higher scores so result should have been the opposite of what occurred.
Amnesia • Studies of amnesics tell us how memory is organized in the brain. • Amnesia occurs with damage to the hippocampus (and some other areas). • Kinds of amnesia: • Korsakoff syndrome • Retrograde vs anterograde amnesia • Patient H.M.
What is Spared in Amnesia? • Memory for facts, knowledge of meanings of words, language. • Memory for how to do things (e.g., play the piano, tie shoes), skills. • Priming • Incidental learning – memory for experience that was not consciously attended to. • Working memory – short term memory.
What is Affected by Amnesia? • Episodic memory – memory for the details and experiences of one’s own life. • Learning and recall of new material --anterograde amnesia • Because conscious learning starts out as an episodic experience.
Implicit vs. Explicit Memory • Explicit memory – knowledge we can consciously recall. • Implicit memory – knowledge we cannot recall but which aids performance on a task. • Amnesics can do a word-completion task but not recall learned words. • Normal subjects also show an explicit-implicit dissociation.
Procedural Memory • Procedural memory can be for skills, but also for doing cognitive tasks. • Berry & Broadbent – control output of hypothetical sugar factory by changing size of workforce (computer simulation): • Non-obvious formula involved. • After 60 trials subjects were good at task but could not state the rule involved. • Amnesics can learn to do this too.