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Cognitive Level of Analysis. Memory. Cognitive Psychology. Cognition ( cognoscere ) “to know” Ulric Neisser (1967) “all the processes by which the sensory input is transformed, reduced, elaborated, stored, recovered, and used.” Includes the structure and function of the mind

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cognitive psychology
Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognition (cognoscere) “to know”
  • UlricNeisser (1967)
    • “all the processes by which the sensory input is transformed, reduced, elaborated, stored, recovered, and used.”
  • Includes the structure and function of the mind
  • How the human mind comes to know things about the world and how this knowledge is used
  • Cognitive neuroscience: Combines the knowledge about the brain and knowledge about cognitive processes.
cognitive processes
Cognitive Processes
  • Cognitive Processes:
    • Perception
    • Thinking
    • Problem-Solving
    • Memory
    • Language
    • Attention
  • Cognition is based on an individual’s mental representations of the world
    • Words
    • Images
    • Concepts
  • Different experiences influence our mental representations
  • Memory: persistence of learning over time via the storage and retrieval of information.
  • Gives us our sense of self and connects us to past experiences.
do this activity on your own no help from your neighbors silently
DO THIS ACTIVITY ON YOUR OWN (no help from your neighbors!) & SILENTLY.
  • Quickly! Name as many of Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs as you can in the next two minutes. Be sure to provide seven names. Guess even if you’re sure you aren’t right.









how did you do
How did you do?
  • Happy
  • Sleepy
  • Sneezy
  • Grumpy
  • Dopey
  • Bashful
  • Doc

If you didn’t succeed in retrieving all seven, you are in good company. Most people can’t do this task easily. And that’s very helpful because we can use the results to demonstrate some important features of remembering and forgetting.A simplified model of remembering involves a three-stage process:


To become a memory, information must first be registered in sensory memory –

it must stand out among a variety of stimuli and be selected for further processing.

2. STORAGE When we rehearse short-term memories sufficiently, we encode them for placement in long-term memory.

3. RETRIEVALWe seek information from long-term memory storage.

three stage processing model of encoding
Three Stage Processing Model of Encoding
  • Stage One: The initial recording of sensory information in the memory system is referred to as sensory memory.
  • Stage Two: sensory memories are processed into short term memory your activated memory which can only hold a minimal amount of information.
  • Stage Three: short term memories are encoded into long-term memory, the relatively permanent and limitless storehouse from which we retrieve.
types of sensory memory
Types of Sensory Memory

Sensory Memory: refers to the initial recording of sensory information in the memory system. All information is held here briefly (1/2 to 4 seconds)

Sensory Memories include both:

  • Iconic Memory: a momentary sensory memory of a visual stimuli. Memory only lasts for a few tenths of a second.
  • Echoic Memory:a momentary sensory memory for auditory stimuli. Sound memories can usually last up to 3 or 4 seconds.

Sensory memory is very hard to measure since it fades as we try to measure it.

how does sensory memory get processed into memory
How Does Sensory Memory Get Processed Into Memory?
  • Sensory memories disappear unless you focus your selective attention on the information.
  • Attention causes information to be further processed.
sensory memory becomes short term memory
Sensory Memory Becomes Short-Term Memory
  • What are characteristics of Short-Term Memory?
  • Only through rehearsal do short-term memories become long term memories.
types of encoding
Types of Encoding
  • Automatic Processing
    • unconscious encoding of incidental information
      • space
      • time
      • frequency
    • well-learned information
      • word meanings
    • we can learn automatic processing
      • reading backwards
automatic processing reading backwards
Automatic Processing: Reading Backwards
  • Reading backwards requires effort at first but after practice becomes automatic.
  • .citamotua emoceb nac gnissecorp luftroffE
  • Automatic processing allows us to do multiple things at once and re-illustrates the concept of parallel processing.
effortful processing
Effortful Processing
  • Effortful Processing: type of encoding that requires attention and conscious effort.
  • Ex: Learning new vocabulary terms, memorizing historical events/chronology, etc.
  • Encoding can be aided by maintenance rehearsal: simple rote repetition of information in consciousness or even more successfully by elaborate rehearsal: processing of information for meaning which can more easily help produce long term memories.
king of memory experiments is hermann ebbinghaus
King of Memory Experiments is Hermann Ebbinghaus
  • Wanted to research capacity of verbal memory.
  • Looked to study to see capacity of peoples’ memories to study strings of non-sense syllables.
  • Ex: JIH, FUB, YOX, XIR,
findings of ebbinghaus
Findings of Ebbinghaus

1. Practice makes perfect. The more rehearsal he did on day 1, the less rehearsal it took to learn the syllables again on day 2. Over learning increased retention.

2. The Spacing Effect: the tendency for studying over a long period of time produces better long term retention than is achieved through massed study or practice. SPACED STUDYING BEATS CRAMMING!!!

explaining the serial position effect
Explaining the Serial Position Effect
  • Primacy Effect: explains how we remember concepts at the beginning of a list since these are often the terms we have seen the most when reviewing.
  • Recency Effect: explains how we remember concepts at the end of the list a since these are the terms we have seen most RECENTLY.
types of encoding1
Types of Encoding
  • Semantic Encoding: encoding of meaning, including the meaning of words….yields best memory.
  • Acoustic Encoding: the encoding of sound, especially the sound of words….usually the least effective.
  • Visual Encoding: the encoding of picture images.


  • Every Good Boy Does Fine
  • Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally


practice saying and writing the words over and over --- but, of course, the most effective rehearsal is distributed


The magic number is 7+or –2

In other words, the most we can hold in our short term stores is just 5-9 items!

But what if you have to remember more than that?

try to remember these numbers
Try to remember these numbers:



How confident are you

that you correctly memorized all 31 numbers?

now try to remember these numbers
Now, try to remember these numbers:








group like things together


group like things together


How do you remember a phone #?

You CHUNK it!

952- 829- 5379


make it VISUAL

HUMANISM –a psychological approach that focuses on

free will

So when you see the word “humanism” I tell you to think about:

I want you to remember:

Free Willy!



  • Imagine the route from your room to the front door of your house
  • Place people / events along the way

George Washington is in my bedroom

John Adams is right outside my bedroom door

Thomas Jefferson is in the bathroom

James Madison is at the top of the stairs



  • Whose phone numbers do you remember? Why?
  • Make all kinds of material meaningful.

Experiment - making meaning


make it RHYTHMIC

  • “Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue in 1492”
  • The helping verbs
  • “The THALAMUS is a grand station, it sends and receives information.”
  • The Memoriad!
false memories
  • Are you a reliable eyewitness?
false memories1
  • Are you a reliable eyewitness?
is long term memory like an attic
Is Long Term Memory Like an Attic?
  • Sherlock Holmes: “I consider that a man’s brain is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose…It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it, there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something you knew before.”
  • Is this true?
neural basis and emotional impact for memory
Neural Basis and Emotional Impact For Memory
  • Long Term Potentiation (LTP): refers to the long-lasting strengthening of the connection between 2 neurons. Is believed to be the neural basis for learning and memory.
  • Process occurs naturally when we learn through association…after learning has occurred, neurons involved in process become more efficient at transmitting the signals.
  • Drugs that block LTP affect learning drastically.
  • Strong emotions make for stronger memories
    • Stress hormones boost impact on learning.
storage loss amnesia
Storage Loss: Amnesia
  • Amnesia refers to the loss of memory.
  • Amnesiac patients typically have losses in explicit memory.
types of amnesia
Types of Amnesia
  • Anterograde Amnesia: type of memory loss where patients are UNABLE TO FORM ANY NEW MEMORIES. Can’t remember anything that has occurred AFTER a traumatic head injury.
  • Retrograde Amnesia: type of memory loss where patients are UNABLE TO REMEMBER PAST EVENTS. May forget everything that happened BEFORE a traumatic head injury.
explicit memory
Explicit Memory
  • Explicit Memory (declarative memory): memory of facts and experiences that one can consciously know and declare.
hippocampus s role in explicit memory
Hippocampus’s Role in Explicit Memory
  • Hippocampus: neural center located in limbic system that helps process explicit memories for storage….left and right hippocampus have different effects.
implicit memory
Implicit Memory
  • Other type of memory storage is known as Implicit Memory (Procedural or Skill Memory): retention of things without conscious recollection.
cerebellum s role in implicit memory
Cerebellum’s Role in Implicit Memory
  • Cerebellum: helps facilitate associate learning responses ie classical conditioning.
  • Cutting pathway to the cerebellum makes rabbits unable to learn conditioned responses.
prospective and retrogressive memory not in your book
Prospective and Retrogressive Memory (NOT IN YOUR BOOK!)

Prospective Memory: remembering to do something in the future

Ex. I need to remember to get my wife an anniversary gift.

Retrospective Memory: remembering you already did something in the past

Ex. I already got my wife an anniversary gift

a diagram for your viewing pleasure

Types of





With conscious




Without conscious








classical and









and cognitive

A Diagram For Your Viewing Pleasure
retrieval getting information out
Retrieval: Getting Information Out
  • Recall: a measure of memory in which the person must retrieve information learned earlier.
  • Ex: Fill in the Blank.
retrieval getting information out1
Retrieval: Getting Information Out
  • Recognition: a measure of memory in which the person need only identify items previously learned.
  • Ex: Multiple Choice
retrieval cues
Retrieval Cues
  • Priming:activation, often unconsciously, of particular associations of memory.
retrieval cues1
Retrieval Cues
  • Context Effects Memory Retrieval: able to retrieve information better when you are in the same context you learned it in.
  • Emotional/Mood Impact of Memory:
    • State-Dependent Memory: information is most easily recalled when in same “state” of consciousness it was learned in.
    • Mood Congruent Memory: tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with one’s current mood.