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Retrieval. Memory is Synaptic Change. New memories = physiological changes in the brain making networks easier to fire by adjusting the dendrite/neurotransmitters system. The easier to fire, the easier linked memories or concepts are to remember. Illustrate?.

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memory is synaptic change
Memory is Synaptic Change
  • New memories = physiological changes in the brain
    • making networks easier to fire by adjusting the dendrite/neurotransmitters system.
    • The easier to fire, the easier linked memories or concepts are to remember.
    • Illustrate?
neurological basis for memory
Neurological Basis for memory
  • This stored ability for a circuit to fire is called: Long Term Potentiation (LTP)
    • Lack of neural connections explains Infantile Amnesia: the inability to remember episodic memories before age 3.
    • you can, however, remember implicit: skill memory
      • Where is that located in the brain? What does that lead us to believe about brain development?
memory retrieval
Memory Retrieval
  • To retrieve a memory you must first have some kind of retrieval cue
    • Examples?
  • Activating one strand of a schematic memory is called priming.
    • Mnemonic devices encoding and mnemonic retrieval
speaking of schema
Speaking of schema…
  • What is a schema?
  • Framework that organizes ideas “This is a cow”
  • What is assimilation?
  • Interpreting new experience in terms of existing schema: looks at moose, calls it a cow
  • What is accommodation?
  • Modifies schema to include items after learning – discriminates between mama moose and baby moose
forgetting as retrieval error
Forgetting as Retrieval error.
  • If we cannot remember something, it could be that:
    • never encoded
    • difficulty retrieving it
      • Interference of other memories are common retrieval errors.
interference theory
Interference Theory =
  • Proactive
  • Old
  • Retroactive
  • New


pro= ahead, someone shooting an arrow out ahead and it kills all the stuff up front
  • Retro = rocket, the after-burn kills all the stuff behind it
forgetting as retrieval error1
Forgetting as Retrieval error.
  • Proactive interference:
    • You studied French for three years and then decided to take Spanish in college. You may find yourself retrieving French words or pronouncing Spanish words with a French accent.
forgetting as retrieval error2
Forgetting as Retrieval error
  • Retroactive Interference:
    • Say you’ve been driving for a while and then decide to learn a stick shift. Then when you start driving an automatic, you slam on the break with your left foot thinking it is a clutch.
jill price the woman who could not forget
Jill Price: The Woman Who Could Not Forget
  • The Real Rain Man
memory construction is like a mosaic
Memory Construction is like a mosaic
  • Our memories are what we encode as well as how we retrieve them.
    • Remember we encode information semantically and may fill in the blanks with details that aren’t correct, or color the memory by the mood we are in.
memory construction like a mosaic
Memory Construction: like a mosaic
  • Déjà vu is often caused by the firing of network by a cue that makes you believe you’ve experienced the whole picture before,
    • recall vs. recognition
tip of tongue
Tip of Tongue
  • Problem of retrieval
  • Context effect: Putting yourself back into the context where a memory was formed may trigger that memory.
  • Going by an old house, a smell of perfume from a former girlfriend, or the smell of autumn football, may bring back a flood of memories.
  • State dependent memory: the state we are in influences the memories that are retrieved.
    • When sad, happy, drunk whatever, these become a retrieval cue.
Mood Congruence:
    • when sad, we are likely to remember events as being sadder than we thought at the time or happier if happy.
source amnesia
Source Amnesia
  • Where we got a memory from, the source, on of weakest areas of memory.
    • Child studies
    • Piaget?
    • Neuro brain development?
eyewitness memory
Eyewitness Memory
  • Because of source amnesia and misinformation effect, eyewitness memories are notoriously bad.
elizabeth loftus eyewitness
Elizabeth Loftus: Eyewitness
  • Faculty recall confabulation
misinformation effect
Misinformation Effect
  • Similarly, we can encode a false memory if we are led to believe something occurred that didn’t.
    • That memory will become just as real as memory of an event that actually occurred.
  • We also fill in the gaps when retrieving memories
    • retrieval cues offered can change the memory as it comes out.
    • Retrieval activity
repression or motivated forgetting
Repression or Motivated Forgetting
  • People seem to purposefully forget things (motivated forgetting), but many repressed memories that are recovered seem to been planted, usually unknowingly.
  • What do you believe?
  • Retrograde amnesia – unable to recall before amnesia (cases amnesia)
    • Damage to areas associated with declarative memories
    • Tumors, strokes, hypoxia, damage to prefrontal cortex
  • Anterograde amnesia – unable to recall after trauma
    • Concussion, car crash, ECT
    • Usually happens in hippocampus
  • Infantile amnesia
  • Source amnesia
  • Alzheimers
  • Clive Wearing: