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BHS 499-07 Memory and Amnesia. History of Memory Research and Early Memory Models. Three Definitions of Memory. The location where memory is stored. The physical entity that holds the memory: Trace Engram The processes used to acquire (learn), store (encode) or retrieve information.

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bhs 499 07 memory and amnesia

BHS 499-07Memory and Amnesia

History of Memory Research and Early Memory Models

three definitions of memory
Three Definitions of Memory
  • The location where memory is stored.
  • The physical entity that holds the memory:
    • Trace
    • Engram
  • The processes used to acquire (learn), store (encode) or retrieve information.
metaphors for memory
Metaphors for Memory
  • Metaphors are used because memory is hard to understand and talk about.
  • Different metaphors capture different aspects of memory.
  • The number of metaphors tells us about the complexity of memory.
  • Some metaphors are better than others.
    • Memory is NOT like a muscle – more like a key.
metaphors 1
Metaphors 1
  • Recorder of experience
    • Wax tablet
    • Record player
    • Writing pad
    • Tape recorder
    • Video camera
  • Organized storage
    • House
    • Library
    • Dictionary
metaphors 2
Metaphors 2
  • Interconnections
    • Switchboard
    • Network
  • Jumbled Storage
    • Birds in an aviary
    • Purse
    • Junk drawer
    • Garbage can
metaphors 3
Metaphors 3
  • Temporal Availability
    • Conveyor belt
  • Content Addressability
    • Lock and key
    • Tuning fork
  • Forgetting of Details
    • Leaky bucket
    • Cow’s stomach
    • Acid bath
metaphors 4
Metaphors 4
  • Reconstruction
    • Rebuilding a dinosaur
  • Active processing
    • Workbench
    • Computer program
the ancients
The Ancients
  • Plato (428?-347? B.C.)
    • Rationalist
    • Dualist – mind and body are distinct
    • Wax tablet metaphor (can be erased, the better the impression the more readable.
  • Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
    • Empiricist
    • Laws of association
      • Similarity
      • Contrast
      • Contiguity
modern precursors
Modern Precursors
  • St. Augustine (354-430)
    • Advanced description of memory in the Confessions similar to modern views.
  • Robert Hooke (1635-1703)
    • Modern insights into memory, but were ignored when he was overshadowed by Newton.
  • Darwin and natural selection (1809-1882)
    • Organism changes to exploit the environment
    • Memory has developed to perform specific tasks.
philosophy of mind
Philosophy of Mind
  • Empiricists – extended Aristotle’s ideas
    • Berkeley, Locke, Mill, Hume
    • Knowledge through observation
    • Associationism
  • Rationalists – antagonists to empiricists
    • Descartes, Kant
    • Active involvement of the mind building ideas
    • Knowledge through theories (e.g., schemas)
early researchers
Early Researchers
  • Ebbinghaus (1850-1909)
    • Nonsense syllables
    • Learning curve – massed vs spaced practice
    • Forgetting curve – forgetting occurs rapidly
    • Overlearning – studying after something is learned
    • Savings – decreased effort needed to relearn
  • Bartlett (1886-1969)
    • How does prior knowledge influence memory
    • Reconstruction is guided by schemas (concepts)
gestalt psychology
Gestalt Psychology
  • Gestalt movement
    • Kohler, Koffka, Wertheimer
    • The whole is different that the sum of its parts.
    • Anti-reductionistic
      • But did acknowledge the importance of understanding the components of thought.
    • Memory influenced by the configuration of elements and context.
    • Isomorphism of mental representation
  • Behaviorism (Pavlov, Thorndike)
    • Psychology should be the study of observable behavior.
      • Reacting against introspection
    • Associated with the term “learning”.
    • Later behaviorists (like Tolman) used mental explanations and representations (maps).
  • Classical and operant conditioning both involve memory.
verbal learning
Verbal Learning
  • A behaviorist approach to the learning of verbal materials.
    • Developed from Ebbinghaus’s work.
  • Memorization is the “attachment of responses to stimuli”
  • Forgetting is the “loss of response availability”
paired associates paradigm
Paired Associates Paradigm
  • Paired associate learning – people memorize pairs of items (BIRD-GLOVE):
    • A-B -- the first item is the cue and the second is the response
    • A-B C-D paradigm (two lists are learned)
    • A-B A-D paradigm (two associations learned)
    • A-B A-B’ paradigm (synonyms)
    • A-B A-Br paradigm (recombinations – hard!)
early neuroscience lashley
Early Neuroscience -- Lashley
  • Lashley (1890-1958)
  • Search for the engram
  • Rats learned a maze.
  • Lashley progressively removed larger and larger portions of rats brains, from different locations.
  • Memory affected more by the amount of brain tissue removed, not the location.
  • Hebb -- The Organization of Behavior (1949)
  • Forerunner of computational neuroscience
    • Mathematical modeling of brain activity
  • What fires together, wires together
  • Signal reverberation within collections of cell assemblies followed by a change in neural interconnections
the cognitive revolution
The Cognitive Revolution
  • Thought is a valid subject for study
  • This is the field of psychology associated with the term “memory”
  • Adopted the methodological rigor of the behaviorists
  • The computer metaphor
    • hardware vs. software
miller s magic number
Miller’s Magic Number
  • George Miller
    • The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two (1956) – describes the capacity of short term memory
    • Different for verbal items and digits
  • Limited capacity of memory
  • Organization aids memory (chunking)
the modal model of memory
The Modal Model of Memory
  • Modal refers to sensory modality (way of receiving info from outside world).
  • Heuristic means “rule of thumb” – this is a way of thinking about memory but not to be taken literally.
  • The guiding framework for decades.
multiple memory systems
Multiple Memory Systems
  • Memory is not unitary but consists of several subcomponents (parts).
  • Tulving’s Triarchic Theory:
    • Episodic Autonoetic (self)
    • Semantic Noetic (formal knowledge)
    • Procedural Anoetic (automatic skills)
other classifications
Other Classifications
  • Declarative vs Nondeclarative
    • Declarative includes episodic and semantic memory
    • Nondeclarative includes procedural memory, classical conditioning and priming
  • Explicit vs implicit
    • Explicit memory involves consciousness, implicit does not.
current issues
Current Issues
  • Neurological bases for memory
  • Impact and importance of emotion on memory
  • Use of multiple memory sources (fuzzy trace theories)
  • Embodied cognition – how our grounding in the world influences memory