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Chapters 6 & 7. Storing and retrieving from episodic memory Semantic memory: categorization and priming. Who learns with music?. Taxonomy of long-term memory (Squire, 1993). Episodic memory. Memory for facts about personally experienced events

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Chapters 6 & 7

  • Storing and retrieving from episodic memory

  • Semantic memory: categorization and priming

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Episodic memory

  • Memory for facts about personally experienced events

  • Three stages: Encoding (storing or acquisition), storage (retention), and retrieval

  • Four ways to improve episodic memory: Rehearsal, levels of processing, organization, and imagery

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  • The aim of rehearsal is maintaining information in working memory as long as possible thus increasing the possibility of storing the information in long-term memory.

  • Serial position effects: Primacy and recency effect

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Primacy and recency effects (Rundus, 1971)

  • Subjects were presented list of 20 words at a rate of 5 s per word. They were asked to rehearse the list out loud.

  • Rundus (1971) compared the probability of recall with the position of the word on the list and the number of rehearsals.

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Levels of processing (Craik & Lockhart, 1972)

  • Also called elaborative rehearsal, type II rehearsal, or depth of processing

  • When new information is processed in a more intentional and meaningful way, the representation of that information will make more connections with the existing information.

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Glenberg, Smith, and Green (1977): Task effects

  • Participants were asked to remember four-digit numbers. During variable intervals, they had to repeat words. At the end subjects were given a free recall or a recognition test on the words.

  • Rehearsal did not improve performance on free recall test, but did improve performance on recognition test.

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  • (Re)structuring of information, so it can be stored in groups (chunking).

  • The organization of information can be subjective (Tulving, 1962).

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Visual imagery

  • When people can store mental pictures, they will remember information better (Schnorr & Atkinson, 1969).

  • Dual coding hypothesis (Paivio, 1971): Concrete objects are represented twice.

  • Once in terms of their verbal attributes and once in terms of their imaginal attributes.

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Mnemonic Devices

  • Use levels of processing, organization, as well as imagery techniques.

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Encoding specificity (Tulving & Thompson, 1973)

  • Items are stored into a larger representation, that includes information about the item presentation.

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Encoding is retrieval

  • When people learn information, connections between new and old information are made.

  • When these connections are numerous (rehearsal), elaborate (processing levels, organization, and imagery), it will be easier to retrieve information because there are more cues to help retrieving it.

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Retrieval in episodic memory

  • Decay (which is actually a storage/retention problem): The passage of time is cause of forgetting (Thorndike, 1914).

  • Interference. Different items are associated with the same retrieval cue. Attempted retrieval of one of these items can be blocked by the inadvertent retrieval of the other item.

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  • Negative transfer, for instance when subjects have to learn a list of word pairs that were already related to other words in prior lists.

  • Positive transfer, for instance when subjects have to learn a list of word pairs that were similar to words in prior lists.

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  • Proactive interference: A previous learned list interferes with a later list which is tested.

  • Retroactive interference: A later learned list interferes with a previous list which is tested.

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  • Encoding – Storage - Retrieval

  • Retrograde amnesia (no retrieval)

  • Anterograde amnesia (no encoding)