Acquisition of memory Stages of memory Strength of memory traces Elaborateness effects
Stages of memory • Acquisition • Encoding and strengthening • Retention • Maintaining or storing • Practice effects? • Retrieval • Accessing memory traces
Acquisition • Practice improves performance • Accuracy • Speed or latency of recall • Reliability or probability of recall • Savings in relearning • (Pirolli & Anderson, 1985) • Learn sentences, test foils • Access time decreases as practice increases
The power law of learning • Logarithmic functions • Compress the scale • Log of time is a function of the log of practice • Time is a function of practice to a power • The power law of learning • The more you practice, the less you gain from each trial.
Elaborateness of processing • The more elaborate the encoding and practicing, the better the retention • Start with depth of processing model (Craik and Lockhart, 1972) • Identify material to remember: • Rhyme? (Phonological processing) • Synonym? (Semantic processing) • Does it fit in this sentence? (Semantic process) • Is the word in capitals?
The generation effect • Self-generation: Self-generated material is better recalled. • Generation uses the person’s own words, which are easier to recall • Generation produces more and better retrieval routes. • Elaboration methods improve memory by providing more and better retrieval routes, not by increasing trace strength.
Incidental vs. intentional learning • Hyde & Jenkins (1973): Rate words for pleasantness vs. presence of letters e or g • Tell half of the participants in both groups that they will be tested (intentional group) • Difference in recall for rating task (deeper processing group recalled more) • No difference in recall for intentional vs. incidental groups.
The Hyde and Jenkins (1973) results Pleasantness Letters e or g Incidental 68% 39% Intentional 69% 43% Recall rates
Is intention of no effect? • Intention may focus attention and lead to elaborate processing. • Nonetheless, we learn incidentally just as well, as long as we pay attention and process elaborately. • Mandler (1967) and card-sorting of words • Are we unable to avoid learning if we pay attention and process information elaborately?
Elaborative processing in education • Put material in your own words • Engage in collaborative learning • Make up questions about the material, and answer them • Make up your own organizational scheme • Connect to your strengths (MI)
A bit of brain research • You have already learned that the hippocampus plays a role in forming permanent memories. • We saw that area 46 and other areas of the prefrontal cortex are involved in working memory. • But permanent memories are located in the relevant sensory or motor cortex.
How are they connected? • All of the brain areas involved in memory are interconnected. • The hippocampus appears to repeatedly play patterns of information, gradually training the appropriate area of cortex to acquire permanent memory of the configuration.
Chunking and coding • Verbal material: chunks of three • LQNRPDSZKGFBT • Visual material is also chunked, by proximity • Memory records consist of chunks of material (Johnson, 1970) • When one element of a chunk is recalled or primed, the other items in that chunk are more readily available than material from other chunks, even if equally close in space
Dual code theory • Paivio (1971) : Concrete words can be encoded twice: Once as verbal symbols and once as images. • Dual coding increases the likelihood of recall, again because of dual retrieval routes--one for each code • Verbal symbols are stored as linear sequences of words, visual as pictures.
Visual information • Amazing capacity • Meaningful material stored more accurately • Faces (74%) vs. snowflakes (30%) (Goldstein & Chance, 1970; cf. Humphrey, 1974) • Droodles • Salient information is recalled more accurately than trivial information (Mandler & Ritchey, 1977); we remember our interpretations of what we see.
Meaningful memory • Sentences • Passive vs. active voice produces confusion • Changed meaning does not • Meaningful information decays more slowly than sensory information • Propositions: Kintsch, 1974 • Propositions are chunks of meaning in text • Propositions are what is coded into memory
Distributed vs. localist representations • Lashley’s (1950) doctrine of equipotentiality • Distributed codes
Sequential memory in pigeons • One of the paradigms to study memory is serial learning • Weisman, Wasserman, and Dodge (1980) • Two sequences of visual stimuli signalled that a peck would be reinforced • Another paradigm required the pigeons to produce a particular sequence of responses: peck four keys in a particular order.