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Chapter 7 Memory. Memory. Memory is a general term for the storage, retention and recall of events, information and procedures.

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memory
Memory
  • Memory is a general term for the storage, retention and recall of events, information and procedures.
  • The quality of an individual’s memory may vary based upon the nature of the information being retained and recalled, the level of interest in it, and its significance to that individual.
module 7 1
Module 7.1
  • Varieties of Memory
ebbinghaus s pioneering studies of memory
Ebbinghaus’s Pioneering Studies of Memory
  • Hermann Ebbinghaus studied his own ability to memorize new material
    • He invented over 2300 nonsense syllables and put them into random lists.
    • Over 6 years he memorized thousands of lists of nonsense syllables.
    • Generally he found that delay between memorization and recall resulted in the forgetting of a large portion of the material.
slide5
Figure 7.1 Hermann Ebbinghaus pioneered the scientific study of memory by observing his own capacity for memorizing lists of nonsense syllables.
ebbinghaus s pioneering studies of memory6
Ebbinghaus’s Pioneering Studies of Memory
  • Role of interference
    • Part of the difficulty for Ebbinghaus may have been the fact that he memorized so many lists of nonsense syllables.
    • If an individual learns several sets of related materials, the retention of the old material makes it harder to retain new material, and the learning of the new materials makes it harder to retain the old.
    • This phenomenon is known as interference.
ebbinghaus s pioneering studies of memory7
Ebbinghaus’s Pioneering Studies of Memory
  • Role of interference
    • When retaining old material makes it hard to retain new material, this is called proactive interference.
    • When learning new material makes it hard to retain old material, this is called retroactive interference.
    • The problem for Ebbinghaus was that he had memorized so many lists of nonsense syllabus that he experienced a strong effect from proactive interference.
concept check
Concept Check

You answer the telephone at your new receptionist job with the name of the your former employer’s firm. What kind of interference caused this embarrassing slip-up?

Proactive interference

ebbinghaus s pioneering studies of memory9
Ebbinghaus’s Pioneering Studies of Memory
  • Meaningfulness
    • Another feature of the pioneering work of Ebbinghaus is that he memorized nonsense syllables.
    • It is clear from studies of memory that meaningful materials are easier to remember.
    • It is also true that distinctive or unusual information is easier to retain.
    • The tendency of people to remember unusual items better than more common items is called the von Restorff effect.
ebbinghaus s pioneering studies of memory10
Ebbinghaus’s Pioneering Studies of Memory
  • Dependence of memory on the method of testing
    • It is possible that since Ebbinghaus required himself to repeat the syllables in correct order after memorizing them, he underestimated his actual retention of the information.
      • How well one appears to remember something depends in part on how one is tested after learning.
ebbinghaus s pioneering studies of memory11
Ebbinghaus’s Pioneering Studies of Memory
  • Dependence of memory on the method of testing
    • Recall (or free recall) is the simplest method for the tester but the most difficult for the person being tested. To recall something is to produce it, as is done on essay and short-answer tests.
    • Cued recall gives the person being tested significant hints about the correct answer. A fill-in-the-blank test uses this method.
ebbinghaus s pioneering studies of memory13
Ebbinghaus’s Pioneering Studies of Memory
  • Dependence of memory on the method of testing
    • Recognition is the method that requires the person being tested to identify the correct item from a list of several choices. Multiple-choice tests use the recognition method.
    • The savings, or relearning method compares the rate at which someone relearns material as opposed to learning something new. The amount of time saved between the original learning and the relearning is a measure of memory.
ebbinghaus s pioneering studies of memory14
Ebbinghaus’s Pioneering Studies of Memory
  • We are indebted to Ebbinghaus for initiating the scientific study of memory.
  • We have also learned important facts about the nature of memory from his difficulties with interference.
concept check15
Concept Check

The bonus question on your Introductory Psychology test asks you to name the stages of the human sleep cycle.

Recall

concept check16
Concept Check

You are on a game show and the question that you must answer is “_________ is the city that is home to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Cathedral of Notre Dame.”

Cued recall

concept check17
Concept Check

You answer more questions on the subject of molecular biology correctly on the comprehensive semester final than you did on the chapter test two months earlier.

Relearning or Savings

concept check18
Concept Check

While at a hardware store, you are looking at several shades of light green paint in hopes of repainting the walls of your home in that exact shade.

Recognition memory

the information processing view of memory
The Information-Processing View of Memory
  • The information-processing model of memory draws an analogy between a computer and the workings of memory in the human brain.
    • According to this view, information enters the system, is processed and coded in various ways, and is then stored.
slide20
Figure 7.4 The information-processing model of memory resembles a computer’s memory system, including temporary and permanent memory.
the information processing view of memory21
The Information-Processing View of Memory
  • The computer has a “buffer” – a temporary storage place for letters that you type faster than it can display them.
  • This is akin to our sensory memory store
the information processing view of memory22
The Information-Processing View of Memory
  • The computer has RAM, or random-access memory, for temporary storage of information that has not yet been written to the hard drive. This information is still vulnerable to damage or loss.
  • This is analogous to our short-term, or working memory.
the information processing view of memory23
The Information-Processing View of Memory
  • The computer has a hard drive, in which information that you are writing or entering can be permanently stored.
  • This is like our long-term memory.
the information processing view of memory24
The Information-Processing View of Memory
  • The sensory store
    • Although it is probably more accurately described as a combination of memory and perception, the sensory store is considered to be the first stage of memory processing.
    • It is a very brief (less than a second) stage that registers everything that is perceived in the moment that we call “now.”
slide25
Figure 7.5 George Sperling (1960) flashed arrays like this on a screen for 50 milliseconds. After the display went off, a signal told the viewer which row to recite.
the information processing view of memory26
The Information-Processing View of Memory
  • Short-term and long-term memory
    • Temporary storage of information that someone has just encountered is short-term memory.
    • Long-term memory is a relatively permanent storage of mostly meaningful information.
    • Reminders or hints that help us to retrieve information from long-term memory are referred to as retrieval cues.
the information processing view of memory27
The Information-Processing View of Memory
  • Short-term memory
    • If a friend asks you what he or she just said, and you were paying attention, you could probably repeat their words or something close to them.
    • This is because you are being asked to recall something from short-term memory.
    • If you were not paying attention, you would not recall it at all. Attention is the process that moves information from the sensory store to short-term memory.
slide28
Table 7.3 After about 1 second, you can no longer recall information from the sensory store. Short-term memories can be recalled up to about 20 seconds without rehearsal—much longer if you continually rehearse them. Long-term memories decline somewhat, especially at first, but you may be able to retrieve

them for a lifetime. Your address from years ago is probably in your long-term memory and will continue to be for the rest of your life.

the information processing view of memory29
The Information-Processing View of Memory
  • Long-term memory
    • If your psychology instructor asks you to name the function of the thalamus, your first reaction might be to panic because you have no idea.
    • The instructor says, “It has something to do with sensory information, right?”
the information processing view of memory30
The Information-Processing View of Memory
  • Long-term memory
    • Then it begins to come back to you – the thalamus is a relay and integration station for sensory information on its way to the cerebral cortex.
    • The instructor gave you a hint that functioned as an effective retrieval cue. These cues can be generated internally or be suggested by others.
the information processing view of memory31
The Information-Processing View of Memory
  • Capacities of short and long-term memory
    • Most normal adults can immediately repeat a list of about seven bits or pieces of information, with expected variations in range from five to nine items.
    • This “magic range” of 7 +/- 2 bits is a well-replicated finding regarding the capacity of short-term memory.
    • It can be expanded through techniques such as chunking into larger, meaningful units.
slide32
Figure 7.6 We overcome the limits of short-term memory through chunking. You probably could not remember the 26-digit number in (a), but by breaking it up into a series of chunks, you can remember it and dial the number correctly.
the information processing view of memory33
The Information-Processing View of Memory
  • Capacities of short and long-term memory
    • The capacity of long-term memory cannot easily be measured.
    • Unlike a computer, we are not dealing with a physical limit of size.
    • Humans are constantly dumping or removing some of their stored information through disuse.
the information processing view of memory34
The Information-Processing View of Memory
  • Decay of short and long-term memory
    • Information that has been stored in long-term memory may be vulnerable to the aforementioned effects of interference, but it generally does not decay due to the effects of time alone.
    • Information being held in short-term memory is vulnerable immediately to the effects of the passage of time.
    • Forgetting tends to begin in seconds unless rehearsal is permitted.
slide35
Figure 7.9 In a study by Peterson and Peterson (1959), people remembered a set of letters well after a short delay, but their memory faded greatly over 20 seconds if they were prevented from rehearsing during that time.
the information processing view of memory36
The Information-Processing View of Memory
  • Capacities of short and long-term memory
    • How long one is able to hold information in short-term memory has little relationship to how well it will be stored in long-term memory.
    • If the information being held in short-term memory is meaningful, it will be transferred easily to long-term memory and be less subject to decay.
    • Up until recently, cognitive psychologists referred to this transfer process as consolidation, the formation of a long-term memory.
the information processing view of memory37
The Information-Processing View of Memory
  • Capacities of short and long-term memory
    • It is now thought that how easily information is consolidated depends on its meaningfulness to the individual. This idea implies that perhaps the division between the short and long-term memory stages is at least in part an artificial one.
    • If the information is meaningful, the groundwork for storing that information has already been done.
the information processing view of memory38
The Information-Processing View of Memory
  • Working memory
    • Working memory is a revised concept of the intermediate stage between our first encounter with new information and its eventual storage.
      • Working memory is a system for processing or working with current information.
      • Working memory is conceptualized as having three major components.
the information processing view of memory39
The Information-Processing View of Memory
  • Working memory’s 3 components:
    • A phonological loop that stores and rehearses information, similar to the 7 +/- 2 idea from the traditional concept of short-term memory.
    • A visuospatial sketchpad that stores and manipulates visual and spatial information.
    • A central executive that governs shifts of attention. Good working memory is able to handle shifts between two or more tasks or multiple aspects of complex tasks.
the information processing view of memory40
The Information-Processing View of Memory
  • Other memory distinctions
    • Declarative memory is the ability to state a fact.
    • Procedural memory is the memory of how to do something.
    • Long-term declarative memory is classified as either semantic (dealing with principles of knowledge) or episodic (containing events and details of life history.)
      • Your memory of a recent piano lesson is declarative and episodic; your memory of how to read music is semantic; your memory of how to play the piano is procedural.
the information processing view of memory41
The Information-Processing View of Memory
  • Other memory distinctions
    • A normal type of forgetting is source amnesia.
    • This involves a combination of episodic and semantic memory. We remember a statement or knowledge related (semantic) fact but we forget the context in which we learned it.
the information processing view of memory42
The Information-Processing View of Memory
  • Other memory distinctions
    • The context in which one learns information is episodic.
    • It can be inferred from the occurrence of this phenomenon that episodic memory is more fragile than semantic knowledge.
varieties of memory
Varieties of Memory
  • Although there is still much disagreement about the nature of memory, there is general agreement that memory is not a single store into which we dump the sum of our knowledge and experiences.
varieties of memory44
Varieties of Memory
  • Memory is a complex combination of many processes, and its properties depend on a number of factors
    • The type of material memorized
    • The individual’s experience with similar materials
    • The method of testing
    • The length of time since the material was encountered
module 7 2
Module 7.2
  • Long Term Memory Storage
memory improvement
Memory Improvement
  • To improve memory, one must improve the strategies used to originally store the material.
the influence of emotional arousal
The Influence of Emotional Arousal
  • It is well understood that the greater the emotional arousal associated with an event, the greater the likelihood that the event will be remembered.
    • Although the event itself may be remembered, the emotion associated with the event does not guarantee the formation of an accurate memory for the details of the event.
the influence of emotional arousal48
The Influence of Emotional Arousal
  • During stressful or emotional events, the sympathetic nervous system works to boost production of the hormones cortisol and adrenaline.
  • This is usually accompanied by increased stimulation of the amygdala.
  • The net effect of these processes is to enhance memory storage of information associated with emotional or stressful events.
concept check49
Concept Check

A Vietnam War Veteran who was involved in several very intense and violent campaigns has been medically monitored for years. He has lower than normal levels of cortisol. How would this affect his memory?

  • He should report frequent memory lapses.
meaningful storage and levels of processing
Meaningful Storage and Levels of Processing
  • The levels-of-processing principle
    • The levels-of-processing principle states that the ease with which we can retrieve a memory depends on the number and types of associations that we form with that memory
      • The more ways in which you think about the material, the deeper your processing will be and the more easily you will remember the material later.
meaningful storage and levels of processing51
Meaningful Storage and Levels of Processing
  • The levels-of-processing principle
    • Ways to think about the material would include asking questions such as:
      • Can I think of similar concepts in another subject area?
      • How do these apply to me?
      • What experiences do I have that are related to this information?
meaningful storage and levels of processing52
Meaningful Storage and Levels of Processing
  • The levels-of-processing principle
    • To improve your level-of-processing:
      • Think about each individual item in a set that you are trying to learn.
      • See if you can determine whether or not relationships exist among the items.
meaningful storage and levels of processing53
Meaningful Storage and Levels of Processing
  • The levels-of-processing principle
    • The levels of processing are:
      • Superficial processing – simply repeating the material that you are trying to memorize.
      • Deeper processing – think about each item or parts of the material individually.
      • Still deeper processing – note the associations between the items or parts of the material.
concept check54
Concept Check

Who do you think tends to get better grades in a course, students who read the book quickly or those who read the book slowly?

The slow pokes

concept check55
Concept Check

How would level-of-processing be useful to aspiring actors?

It would help them memorize their lines more effectively.

timing of study sessions
Timing of Study Sessions
  • The serial-order effect
    • The serial-order effect states that we tend to remember the beginning and end of a list better than the middle.
      • The primacy effect is the tendency to remember the beginning.
      • It is partly due to the lack of proactive interference while you rehearse the first few items.
      • The recency effect is the tendency to remember the end.
      • The last few items are not subject to as much retroactive interference.
timing of study sessions57
Timing of Study Sessions
  • Because of these effects, the best strategy for anyone who needs to learn a lot of material is to space out the study sessions
    • Study the material
    • Wait for awhile
    • Return to the material and test yourself on it
timing of study sessions58
Timing of Study Sessions
  • The SPAR method
    • If you want to remember something for the long-term, study and review it under varying conditions with substantial intervals between sessions
    • One systematic way to accomplish this is to use the SPAR method.
timing of study sessions59
Timing of Study Sessions
  • The SPAR method
    • Survey – get an overview of the material.
    • Process meaningfully – read the material carefully and think about how it relates to your other knowledge and experiences.
    • Ask questions – use the review questions included with the material, or create your own and answer them.
    • Review – wait a day or so, and retest yourself.
concept check60
Concept Check

In order to ace your comprehensive Introductory Psychology final exam, should you immediately review this chapter, or should you schedule some review of the first two or three chapters?

Start reviewing the earlier material

use of special coding strategies
Use of Special Coding Strategies
  • Retrieval Cues
    • Retrieval cues are bits of associated information that help you to regain complex memories for later use. Many factors associated with learning can act as retrieval cues.
      • The encoding specificity principle states that the associations formed at the time of learning are typically the most effective retrieval cues.
      • State-dependent memory is our tendency to remember something better if your physical condition is the same at the time of recall as it was at the time of learning.
slide62
Figure 7.11 According to the principle of encoding specificity, the way we code a word during original learning determines which cues will remind us of that word later. For example, when you hear the word queen, you may think of that word in any of several ways. If you think of queen bee, then the cue playing card will not remind you of it later. If you think of the queen of England, then chess piece will not be a good reminder.
use of special coding strategies65
Use of Special Coding Strategies
  • Mnemonic devices
    • A mnemonic device is any memory aid that is based on encoding each item in a special way. There are many types of mnemonic devices.
      • The method of loci involves memorizing a series of places. Using a vivid image, you associate each of these locations with something you want to remember.
      • The peg method involves memorizing a list of objects (“pegs”) and forming mental images to link the information that you wish to memorize using these pegs.
slide66
Figure 7.12 A simple mnemonic device is to think of a short story or image that will remind you of what you need to remember. Here you might think of images to help remember functions of different brain areas.
slide67
Figure 7.14 The method of loci is one of the oldest mnemonic devices. First, learn a list of places, such as “my desk, the door of my room, the corridor, . . .” Then link each of these places to the items on a list of words or names, such as a list of the names of Nobel Peace Prize winners.
improving our memory
Improving Our Memory
  • We refer to our memories as “stored” and “retrieved” as if they were items on a shelf in a warehouse. But this analogy is only partially useful.
  • The more you know about a topic, the more interested you are in it, the easier it is to establish and retain new information related to the topic.
normal forgetting
“Normal” Forgetting
  • There are many plausible reasons to account for the forgetting of information
    • Interference
    • Decay – the memory is subject to the combined effects of time and interference
    • Loss of retrieval cues
    • Source amnesia
module 7 3
Module 7.3
  • Retrieval of Memories
reconstructing past events
Reconstructing Past Events
  • When you try to remember an event, you usually start with details you remember clearly, and fill in the gaps.
  • This is the process of reconstruction. During an event, we construct a memory. When we try to retrieve the memory, we reconstruct an account based partly on surviving memories and partly on expectations of what must have happened.
reconstructing past events72
Reconstructing Past Events
  • Your memory for activities that are routine – your breakfast, lunch or dinner for example – from the past week can be reconstructed with little effort. But these will fade rapidly unless something unusual happened.
reconstructing past events73
Reconstructing Past Events
  • If your family all got sick after one meal, you will probably remember that meal in better detail for much longer than is usual.
  • If you met a new love interest when you were out to dinner with friends, this event will also be more memorable and easily reconstructed.
  • However, you may fill in missing details with typical activities associated in your memory with routine meals at home or dining out.
reconstructing past events74
Reconstructing Past Events
  • We will add words to lists that we’ve heard or read depending on what content we believe would have been on the list, based on its apparent theme.
  • The less certain of our memories that we are, the more we will rely on our expectations.
reconstructing past events75
Reconstructing Past Events
  • Hindsight bias
    • Hindsight bias is the tendency to mold our recollection of the past to how events later turned out.
      • We say “I knew that was going to happen!” after the event has occurred.
      • Our memories are tailored as we reconstruct the event to fit that outcome.
slide76
Figure 7.17a Mean estimates of the likelihood of four outcomes varied depending on what each group was told about the “actual” outcome. Those who thought the British had won said that under the circumstances the British had a very high probability of victory. Those who thought the Gurkas had won said that was the most likely outcome under the circumstances, and so forth. (Based on data of Fischhoff, 1975)
slide77
Figure 7.17b Mean estimates of the likelihood of four outcomes varied depending on what each group was told about the “actual” outcome. Those who thought the British had won said that under the circumstances the British had a very high probability of victory. Those who thought the Gurkas had won said that was the most likely outcome under the circumstances, and so forth. (Based on data of Fischhoff, 1975)
slide78
Figure 7.17c Mean estimates of the likelihood of four outcomes varied depending on what each group was told about the “actual” outcome. Those who thought the British had won said that under the circumstances the British had a very high probability of victory. Those who thought the Gurkas had won said that was the most likely outcome under the circumstances, and so forth. (Based on data of Fischhoff, 1975)
slide79
Figure 7.17d Mean estimates of the likelihood of four outcomes varied depending on what each group was told about the “actual” outcome. Those who thought the British had won said that under the circumstances the British had a very high probability of victory. Those who thought the Gurkas had won said that was the most likely outcome under the circumstances, and so forth. (Based on data of Fischhoff, 1975)
reconstructing past events80
Reconstructing Past Events
  • The “false” or “recovered” memory controversy
    • Reports of long-lost memories, prompted by clinical techniques, are known as recovered memories. Often these are memories of abuse that took place in early childhood.
    • There have been examples of accurate and inaccurate memories constructed through clinical techniques.
    • Psychological researchers want to know if it is likely that people will forget abusive or traumatic experiences.
reconstructing past events81
Reconstructing Past Events
  • Memory for traumatic events
    • Sigmund Freud believed that it was possible to repress a painful memory, motivation or emotion, to move it from the conscious to the unconscious mind.
    • This idea is not well supported in research on memory and forgetting.
reconstructing past events82
Reconstructing Past Events
  • Memory for traumatic events
    • Research indicates that it is possible to forget a traumatic event, but whether this happens depends on a number of factors – age at the time of the event, reaction of family, and type of event.
    • Most people do not forget traumatic events if they happen later than age 3.
reconstructing past events83
Reconstructing Past Events
  • Memory for traumatic events
    • Whether this happens because of repression or normal forgetting is unclear. People forget many pleasant and joyful events from early childhood as well.
    • Repression of traumatic events does not fit well with our understanding of the biological process of storing memory.
    • Emotional stimulation releases cortisol. The net effect is to improve the storage of memory.
reconstructing past events84
Reconstructing Past Events
  • Suggestion and false memory
    • A false memory is a report that an individual believes to be a memory but that does not correspond to actual events.
      • Various studies have shown that it is possible by suggestion to implant memories for events that did not occur.
      • About a quarter of subjects in several studies were convinced that they had been lost as children after a researcher suggested it to them.
reconstructing past events85
Reconstructing Past Events
  • Suggestion and false memory
    • Plausible events were more likely to be remembered, and the memories were somewhat vague, but these results were achieved after a single, brief suggestion.
    • Similarly, memory for details after watching a videotaped event can be altered or distorted by the use of leading questions.
reconstructing past events86
Reconstructing Past Events
  • Children as eyewitnesses
    • Research with children can be ethically difficult because of their vulnerability.
    • We know that children forget rapidly and sometimes confuse fantasy and reality. Sometimes children witness crimes or other events about which we need information.
    • How do we work with children to tap their memories accurately? Can we do this?
reconstructing past events87
Reconstructing Past Events
  • Children as eyewitnesses
    • Under proper conditions, children as young as three are able to make accurate reports of events that they have witnessed.
      • Young children can answer specific questions accurately.
      • If there is a delay between the event and the questioning, a child is more likely to give incorrect information.
      • If the question is not understandable, the child may give incorrect information.
reconstructing past events88
Reconstructing Past Events
  • Children as eyewitnesses
    • Repetition of the question in the same interview session may yield two different answers.
    • Repetition of the question between spaced interview sessions may help the child remember better, which is important in court testimony.
    • Dolls and props may seem like helpful tools, but actually do not increase the accuracy of a child’s recall or testimony.
reconstructing past events89
Reconstructing Past Events
  • Children as eyewitnesses
    • The most effective strategies in interviewing young children are:
      • Use of simple questions
      • Maintenance of a non-threatening atmosphere during the interview
      • Avoidance of suggestions or pressure
      • Schedule the interview as soon as is reasonable after the event
true false maybe
True, False, Maybe
  • Memories may or may not be reliable.
  • There is much evidence of forgetting and distortion. We use adaptive strategies for “filling in the gaps” – reason and logic.
  • It is prudent to always consider the possibility that a seemingly clear memory is distorted or false.
module 7 4
Module 7.4
  • Amnesia
amnesia after brain damage
Amnesia After Brain Damage
  • Amnesia is a severe loss or deterioration of memory.
  • We can learn a lot about the different forms of memory by studying these cases.
amnesia after brain damage93
Amnesia After Brain Damage
  • “H.M.”
    • In 1953, “H.M.” had his hippocampus and surrounding areas of the temporal lobes removed to control his intractable seizures.
    • Although his seizures did decrease dramatically, he experienced such dramatic memory impairment that such a surgery would never be attempted again.
amnesia after brain damage95
Amnesia After Brain Damage
  • “H.M.”
    • He experienced massive anterograde amnesia. He was unable to store any new memories. (It was 1953 for the rest of his life.)
    • He had moderate retrograde amnesia. He could not remember many events that occurred between 1 and 3 years before his surgery.
    • He did retain normal short-term memory functions.
    • His procedural memory was retained intact.
slide96
Figure 7.20 Brain damage induces retrograde amnesia (loss of old memories) and anterograde amnesia (difficulty storing new memories.)
amnesia after brain damage97
Amnesia After Brain Damage
  • “H.M.”
    • What has been learned about the hippocampus from H.M.’s tragic story?
      • All other things being equal, the more difficult a memory task is, the more it depends on the proper functioning of the hippocampus.
      • The hippocampus is important for remembering details.
amnesia after brain damage98
Amnesia After Brain Damage
  • Frontal-lobe damage
    • The frontal lobes receive a great deal of input from the hippocampus. Damage to the frontal lobes causes some problems that are similar to hippocampal damage, and some unique problems as well.
    • Frontal lobe damage can occur as a result of stroke, head trauma, or Korsakoff’s syndrome, a dementia that results from a deficiency of vitamin B1, brought on by chronic alcoholism.
amnesia after brain damage99
Amnesia After Brain Damage
  • Frontal-lobe damage
    • The deficiency leads to loss and shrinkage of neurons in many parts of the brain, especially the thalamus and prefrontal cortex.
    • Multiple impairments of memory can result from this deterioration.
amnesia after brain damage100
Amnesia After Brain Damage
  • Frontal-lobe damage
    • Typical symptoms of Korsakoff’s syndrome include –
      • Apathy
      • Confusion
      • Retrograde amnesia – usually dating back to about 15 years before the onset of the syndrome
      • Anterograde amnesia
      • Confabulation – wild guessing mixed in with correct information, generated in an effort to hide gaps in memory.
amnesia after brain damage101
Amnesia After Brain Damage
  • Implicit memory in amnesiac patients
    • Recall these two divisions of long-term memory:
      • Explicit memory involves the recall of knowledge and events in which a person deliberately retrieves the answer and recognizes it as a correct one.
        • Your instructor asks you to name two psychologists associated with the principles of operant conditioning.
amnesia after brain damage102
Amnesia After Brain Damage
  • Implicit memory in amnesiac patients
    • Implicit memory does not require recognition. The recall of activities stored in implicit memory seems effortless and unconscious.
      • You drive your car to school everyday but don’t remember any details of the activities associated with driving.
amnesia after brain damage103
Amnesia After Brain Damage
  • Implicit memory in amnesiac patients
    • Amnesiac patients such as H.M. show normal ability to use and store new implicit memory, but have impaired functioning of the factual memory activities of explicit memory.
amnesia after brain damage104
Amnesia After Brain Damage
  • Implicit memory in amnesiac patients
    • NOR____
    • DET____
    • COR____
    • FRO____
    • Complete the words listed above.
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Amnesia After Brain Damage
  • Implicit memory in amnesiac patients
    • If you wrote any of the following – normal, detail, correct or cortex, frontal, there is a good chance that you were recalling words that appeared in the slides that preceded the task. It will be easy for you to remember this now that you know what happened.
    • Amnesiac patients will perform similarly on this task – called “priming” – they will complete the words in a similar manner, but they will never remember having read them previously.
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Amnesia After Brain Damage
  • Implicit memory in amnesic patients
    • It is not uncommon for such a patient to learn a video game or other procedural task perfectly. However, the patient will never remember the event of being taught the game, or any individual session of playing it, even if that patient becomes highly skilled at the actual playing!
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Concept Check

You have learned to play the guitar. What type of memory is involved in playing a song for your friends?

Implicit memory

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Concept Check

You play guitar at a party for your friends. Later you remember the good time you had playing for them. What type of memory is involved in remembering this?

Explicit memory

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Concept Check
  • Which of the following is an example of implicit memory?
  • a. There is a soap opera on TV at home. You don’t get to watch it often, so you can never tell your friends the names of the characters. Two days later you are watching a late night TV program and you recognize one of the leading men as a guest.
  • b. You are sitting behind a couple at the movies who are having an animated discussion about skydiving. You are not paying attention to the content of their discussion. Later you spontaneously comment to your friends about how much fun it would be to learn to skydive.

“ b” is implicit memory

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Concept Check

What kinds of memory are most impaired in frontal lobe dementia patients and patients like H.M.? What kinds are least impaired?

Declarative or explicit memories are most impaired.

Procedural or implicit memories are least impaired.

infant amnesia
Infant Amnesia
  • Few people can remember events earlier than age 5 or 6. Though children younger than this can describe earlier events in their own lives, these memories tend to fade.
  • The scarcity of early declarative memory is called infant amnesia or childhood amnesia. Why does this happen?
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Infant Amnesia
  • Freud believed that this was a result of repression due to the emotional traumas of infancy. He offered no evidence for this theory.
  • Some cognitive psychologists believe that this is because early memories are nonverbal and later memories are verbal.
  • A biological explanation is that the hippocampus is not fully developed and doesn’t store memories as completely.
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Infant Amnesia
  • Another cognitive explanation is that lasting memories require a sense of self, and this typically doesn’t develop fully until between 3 and 4 years of age.
  • The theory of encoding specificity suggests that our retrieval cues in later life may not be adequate to recall early memories.
  • We are still trying to understand why these memories are not accessible.
amnesia of old age
Amnesia of Old Age
  • Some older people suffer from Alzheimer’s and other dementias that impair attention and memory.
  • Up until recently, scientists have typically overstated the vulnerability of healthy older people to memory loss.
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Amnesia of Old Age
  • Most healthy people show little decline of memory in old age
    • Older adults show mild deficits on simple memory tasks.
    • Older adults show greater deficits on more complex tasks.
    • The attentional aspects of their working memory appear to be weaker – older adults have more difficulty handling two tasks at once.
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Amnesia of Old Age
  • People would like to know how to increase the chance of having good memory function later in life:
    • A healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, good diet and limited use of alcohol.
    • An intellectually stimulating life may be related to good memory function as well.
why do we forget
Why do we forget?
  • Catastrophic loss of memory can only result from brain damage or disease.
  • “Normal” forgetting is a product of mechanisms that are usually adaptive.
  • It is probably true that remembering everything that happened would be overwhelming and debilitating for human beings.