Ch. 7 Vocabulary

1. Memory: an internal record or representation of some prior event or experience
2. Constructive Process: Organizing and shaping of information during processing, storage, and retrieval of memories
3. Encoding: Translating information into neural codes (language)
4. Storage: Retaining neurally coded information over time
5. Retrieval: Recovering information from memory stage
6. Parallel Distributed Processing (PDP): Memory results from weblike connections among interacting processing units operating simultaneously, rather than sequentially (also known as the connectionist model)
7. Levels of Processing: The degree or depth of mental processing that occurs when material is initially encountered determines how well it’s later remembered
8. Sensory Memory: First memory stage that holds sensory information; relatively large capacity, but duration is only a few seconds
9. Short-term memory: Temporarily stores and processes the sensory image until the brain decides whet or not to send it along to the third stage (long-term memory)
10. Maintenance Rehearsal: Repeating information over and over to maintain it in short-term memory (STM)
11. Chunking: Grouping separate pieces of information into a single unit (or chunk).
12. Long-term memory: location where information that must be kept for extensive periods of time
13. Explicit (declarative) memory: Subsystem within long-term memory that consciously stores facts, information, and personal life experiences
14. Semantic memory - memory of facts, terms and general knowledge, such as dates in history
15. Episodic Memory: A part of explicit/declarative memory that stores memories of personally experienced events; a mental diary of a person’s life
16. Implicit (nondeclarative) memory : what we learn unintentionally or unconsciously which includes procedural motor skills and conditioned aversions
17. Priming: This form of memory occurs when a prior exposure to a stimulus (or prime) facilitates or inhibits the processing of new information
18. Elaborative Rehearsal: Linking new information to previously stored material (also known as deeper levels of processing).
19.Retrieval Cue: A clue or prompt that helps stimulate recall or retrieval of a stored piece of information from long-term memory
20. Recognition: Retrieving a memory using a specific cue
21. Recall: Retrieving a memory using a general cue
22. Encoding Specificity Principle: Retrieval of information is improved when conditions of recovery are similar to the conditions when information was encoded
23. Relearning: Learning material a second time, which usually takes less time than original learning (also called the savings method)
24. Retroactive Interference: New information interferes with remembering old information; backward-acting interference
25. Proactive Interference: Old information interferes with remembering new information; forward-acting interference
26. Consolidation: Process by which neural changes associated with recent learning become durable and stable
27. Tip-of-the-Tongue (TOT) Phenomenon: Feeling that specific information is stored in long-term memory but of being temporarily unable to retrieve it
28. Source Amnesia: Forgetting the true source of memory (also called source confusion or source misattribution).
29. Serial Position Effect: Information at the beginning and end of a list is remembered better than material in the middle
30. Sleeper Effect: human tendency to disregard something first heard from an unreliable source in favor of a more reliable source. The source is then forgotten and the “unreliable” information is then discounted
31. Distributed Practice: Practice (or study) sessions are interspersed with rest periods
32. Massed Practice: Time spent learning is grouped (or massed) into long, unbroken intervals (also known as cramming).
33. Long-Term Potentiation (LTP): Long-lasting increase in neural excitability, which may be a biological excitability, which may be a biological mechanism for learning and memory
34. Retrograde Amnesia: Loss of memory for events before a brain injury; backward-acting amnesia
35. Anterograde Amnesia: Inability to form new memories after a brain injury; forward-acting amnesia
36. Alzheimer’s Disease: Progressive mental deterioration characterized by severe memory loss
37. Mnemonic Device: Memory-improvement technique based on encoding items in a special way

Chapter 7: Outline
I. Introduction
· Elizabeth at the age of 14 found her mother’s dead body floating in the swimming pool. She was shocked and extremely saddened by the loss of her mother. Thirty years later at a family reunion, after being told that she had been the one to discover the body, Elizabeth denied and denied, until she started remembering herself looking down at the pool, screaming, the police cars, the lights. The memory had been there the whole time, but she just couldn’t get to it.
II. The Nature of Memory
· Memory is an internal record of representation of some prior event or experience
· Without memory we have no past or future because we cannot remember what has happened or form ideas of what will happen based on what we know.
· Memory may be a record of some event or experience but it is highly susceptible to error.
· Memory is a constructive process- organizing and shaping information during processing, storage and retrieval of memories
· We as human beings organize and shape info the moment it’s processed, stored, or received by our brain.
III. Information Processing Approach
· Memory may be faulty and with error but it is highly functional and biologically well adapted for everyday life became it filters and sorts through the loads of information we receive throughout the day and then it stores and retrieves information necessary for survival.
· Information Processing Model-Info goes through three basic operations:
o Encoding
o Storage
o Retrieval
· Our brain encodes sensory information (sound, visual, and other senses) into a neural “language” it can understand
· Then it is stored in our brain
· To retrieve the information, the brain must locate the appropriate “memory files”
· Computers and brains don’t work in the same way; human brains may be fuzzy and forgetful, while computers simply store data on a hard drive where it’s just there.
o Computers store information sequentially- orderly, logical fashion
o Human memory stores simultaneously- through many networks
IV. Parallel Distributed Processing Model
· Memory results from web like connections among interacting processing units operating simultaneously, rather that sequentially( also known as the connectionist model)
· Instead of recognizing patters as a sequence o information bits, our brain and memory processes perform multiple parallel operations all at one time mainly because our memory is spread out throughout an entire web like network of processing units
· Example: If we were swimming and we see a large fin nearby, we would stop to try and remember althea types of fish se know; our brain conducts a mental parcel search and we notice the color of the fish, the fin and the potential danger all at the same time
· PDP model is consistent with neurological information of brain activity and has been useful in explaining perception, language, and decision making, while allowing for a faster response time
V. Levels of Processing Model
· Level of Processing- the degree of depth of mental processing that occurs when material is initially encountered determines how well it’s later remembered.
· Levels of Processing Model suggests that memory relies on how deeply we proceeds initial information
· Shallow Processing
o We’re only aware of basic incoming sensory information
o Little to no memory is formed
· Deep Processing
o When we use more stuff with the information, like adding meaning, developing organizations and associations, or relating it to things we already know.
· Ex. If we had to learn all the names of the students of our class, and we had a copy all the names in the class and just repeated them out loud, that would be shallow learning, but if we said the name and grouped them according to initial or we made associations with them like meeting them or adding a distinguishing feature or personality about them
VI. Traditional Three – Stage Memory Model
· One of the most widely used is the three-box model.
· Memory requires three storage stages to hold and process information for various lengths of time
o (Sensory) – 1st Stage- holds information for short intervals
o (Short Term)-2nd Stage- retains info for 30 seconds or less( unless renewed_
o (Long Term)- 3rd Stage- relatively permanent damage
VI. Sensory Memory
· Sensory Memory- first memory stage that holds sensory information, relatively large capacity but duration only a few seconds
· Everything we hear, touch, taste, and smell first enters our sensory memory
· The purpose is to retain the experience long en9ugh to locate and focus on relevant bits of information and transfer them to the next stage of memory.
· Visual information- iconic memory- visual icon- lasts about half a second
· Auditory information last about the same time, however a weaker “echo” or echoic memory, of this auditory information can last up to 4 seconds.
· Sensory memory maintain s environmental stimuli only long enough for the brain to decide where to the send it to the second stage.
VII. Short-Term Memory: Memory’s Second Stage
· Temporarily stores and processes the sensory image until brain decides whether or not to send it along to the third stage.
· Purpose: Similar to Sensory except they do not store exact duplicates of sensory information but a mixture of perception analyses.
· Capacity increased by:
o Maintenance rehearsal: repeating information over and over
o Chunking- grouping separate pieces of information into a single unit
VIII. Short-Term Memory (STM) “Working Memory”
  • Not only receives information but sends and retrieves information from LTM.
  • Visiospatial Sketchpad- holds and manipulates visual images and spatial information
  • Phonological rehearsal loop- holding and manipulating verbal information
  • Central executive- supervises and coordinates the other two components along with material retrieved from long-term memory.
IX. Long-Term Memory (LTM): The Third Stage of Memory
  • Long-term memory (LTM): purpose is to serve as a storehouse for information that must be kept for long periods of time
  • Long-term memory has relatively unlimited capacity and duration
  • It’s harder to find information the more a person learns because information transferring from STM to LTM is “tagged” and stored. If it is stored improperly is causes problems during retrieval. Clear labeling helps prevent mislabeling.
  • LTM is divided into two major systems– explicit (declarative) memory and implicit (nondeclarative) memory.
  • Explicit: Intentional learning or conscious knowledge; aka declarative memory because if asked to recall, people can “declare” it.
  • Can be sub-divided into two parts– semantic memory and episodic memory.
o Semantic memory: memory for facts and general knowledge; internal mental dictionary or encyclopedia of stored knowledge.
o Episodic memory: explicit memory of out own past experiences; records major events that happen to us or take place in our presence; can be short-term and long-term.
  • Implicit: Refers to unintentional learning or unconscious knowledge; memory without awareness. Muscle memory; non-declarative. Consists of procedural motor skills (i.e. tying shoes, riding bike, etc.)
      • Includes priming- form of memory occurs when a prior exposure to stimulus facilitates or inhibits the processing of new information (i.e. fear increasing after reading a Stephen King novel; romantic feelings increased after romantic movie.)

X. Improving Long-Term Memory:
  • Organization:
    • To extend capacity for short-term memory = organize information into chunks
    • To encode LTM = organize material into hierarchies
    • Arranging related items into few broad categories which are divided and subdivided
  • Elaborative Rehearsal
    • Deals with encoding STM and LTM; deeper levels of processing
    • Maintenance rehearsal: repetition of information
    • Shallow processing: works for information not needed in LTM
    • Immediate goal is to understand and to memorize
  • Retrieval Cues
    • Any stimulus that can begin a retrieval process from LTM
    • Specific (recognition) and general (recall)

XI. Forgetting:

  • Hermann Ebbinghaus: pioneer memory researcher; introduced experimental study of learning and forgetting in 1885; “forgetting curve”
  • Relearning information after having learned and forgotten it takes less time than the original learning period.
  • Decay Theory: based on assumption that memory degrades with time
    Skills of memory are diminished if not used over time
  • Interference Theory: suggests that forgetting is the cause of new memories competing with, or trying to replace, another memory.
Retroactive- learning new information leads to forgetting old material
Proactive- old information leads to forgetting of new information
  • Motivated Forgetting Theory: Our brain wants to forget difficult memories because they cause us stress and/or discomfort.
    Suppression- Forgetting these memories consciously
    Repression- Forgetting these memories unconsciously
    Ex: Telling yourself that you will succeed on your speech for English class (i.e. suppression)
  • Encoding Failure Theory-Not remembering specific details of something because we do not think that it is important enough to remember
  • Retrieval Theory-Not remembering a memory stored in the LTM “i.e. blanking out on a test”
    Tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon (TOT)-Being unable to speak a certain word “i.e. ‘its on the tip of my tongue”
  • Four factors that contribute to forgetting information:
    1.Serial position efffect- we remember information that we study or people that we meet in the beginning (primacy effect) or the end (recency effect).
2.Source Amnesia-forgetting where we heard certain information from or mixing sources of information up.
Ex: Thinking that one friend told you when the psychology homework was done but in actuality it was a different friend.
3.Sleeper Effect- When we hear information from an unreliable source we do not believe but after a certain period of time we experience source amnesia and then believe the information to be true.
4.Spacing of practice- Students should practice distributed practice (i.e. study over longer periods of time versus massed practice (i.e. cramming) because we remember more this way.
XII. Cultural Differences in Memory and Forgetting
  • Ross and Milson Study (1970)-wanted to see if people who do not rely on writing information down to remember in certain cultures had better memory than those who do.

    • Experiment: Gave a lecture to American and Ghanaian students, where they did not take notes, not told they would be tested on it, and later had to write down as much as they remembered

    • When encountered with memorizing words=not as successful but schooling can aid in this proce

    • Wagner Study (1982)
      • Participants given 7 cards which were then placed faced down, then shown a card and had to say which was its duplicate
      • Results: Despite culture or amount of schooling everyone remembered the last cards (recency effect) but only with those with schooling remembered beginning ones (primacy effect).
      • This is because of rehearsal or repeating the information repeatedly to memorize it which is done in school
XIII. Neuronal and Synaptic Changes in Memory

  • Long-Term Potentiation (LTP)- When neurons fire repeatedly the pathways become stronger. Caused by 2 ways:
    1.Dendrites grow more spines
    2.Neurons can release more or less neurotransmitters
  • Hormonal Changes-When we are stressed or excited our bodies release epinephrine and cortisol
1.Stimulates amygdala (emotion) which stimulates hippocampus and cerebral cortex (memory)
2.Flashbulb Memories-remembering certain events with vivid imagery but may not be very accurate
XIV. Where Are Memories Located? Tracking Down Memory Traces

  • Lashley Study (1890-1958) - We have learned that memory is not stored in a particular area of the brain but in several areas. These include: 
    • Amygdala
    • Basal Ganglia and Cerebellum
    • Hippocampal Formation
    • Thalamus
    • Cortex

XV. Biology and Memory Loss: Injury and Disease
  • Our memories and ability to form new memories are essential to our ability to survive
  • Some memory problems are caused by injury and disease (organic pathology)
  • Most common causes of memory loss are brain injury and Alzheimer’s
    • Traumatic brain injury: skull collides with another object
      • Frontal and temporal lobes most often damaged
      • Most common cause behind neurological issues and often occur due to accidents and gunshot wounds
    • Amnesia divided into retrograde and anterograde
      • In retrograde amnesia, the afflicted cannot recall events that occurred before the incident but can store new memories (possibly because of the lack of consolidation in those memories directly before the incident)
      • In anterograde amnesia, the afflicted cannot form new memories (possibly because neural changes are fixed and do not change)
    • Alzheimer’s disease refers to the mental decline in old age
      • It begins with the normal type of forgetting and progresses to long-term memory loss and general withdrawal
      • Alzheimer’s memory loss is distinct from other types of memory loss because Alzheimer’s sufferers cannot retain facts and memories but do recall conditioned

XVI. RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT: Memory and the Criminal Justice System
  • Everyone makes memory lapses, but because of this, eyewitness testimony is flawed.
  • Numerous eyewitness experimental studies show a high percentage of error
  • In experiments eyewitnesses will often accuse an innocent person when shown mug shots and a lineup, neither of which included the actual perpetrators
  • Reasons behind this include familiarity and construction
  • False Versus Repressed Memories
    • Elizabeth Loftus was actually mistaken about the repressed memories and instead created a false memory

    • Under the idea of repression, some thoughts and memories are either actively forgotten or are so terrible that they exist only in the unconscious

    • Therapy is necessary to recover these repressed memories
    • Difficult and controversial topic in psychology
    • Therapists might inadvertently plant or suggest memories in their client’s minds, and source amnesia might also play a role.
    • Very difficult to determine whether recovered memories are true or false
    • The application of psychology into crime demands respect for victims and potential suspects
XVII. Understanding Memory Distortions: The Need for Logic, Consistency and Efficiency
  • It is common to shape, rearrange and distort our own memories
  • It is because our need for logic and consistency
  • Example: We do not memorize lectures word for word. We remember the general things said and interpret and analyze them our own way.
    • Typically memories are efficient and reliable
    • Memories help retrieve and store important information essential to survival.
    • Memories are stored even as we are sleeping
    • We do not remember everything, even the simple things
    • Example: We lose essential things like cell phone or keys.

XVIII. Tips for Memory Improvement: Eight Surefire Ways to Improve Your Memory
  • We are able to recognize our brains limitations and can discover ways to cope
  • Eight different ways to improve memory
    1. Pay attention and reduce interference
    • Example: Don’t watch TV or listen to music while doing homework. Get off Facebook!
2. Use rehearsal techniques
    • Duration of short term memory is about thirty seconds
    • Relate information to other things
    • Make up your own examples
3. Improve your organization
    • STM is only capable of memorizing five to nine things
4. Counteract the serial position effect
    • We tend to remember things better at the end and beginning. Spend more time focusing on the middle
5. Manage your time
    • Avoid cramming
    • We don’t remember things when we are drowsy and sleepy
    • Example: Have five 30-minute study sessions when you are awake and alert. The information will store better during REM sleep
6. Use the encoding specifity principle
    • Stay in a familiar environment
    • Stay relaxed as if you were in an any day lecture
    • Mood Congruent Effect, proves that if you are in the same emotional state taking a test as you were when you learned the information you will perform better
    • State-dependent memory proves that if you drink a cup of apple juice before studying you will want one before a test
    • Example: When it comes to test taking make sure you stay calm and act like it is nothing new. Test taking isn’t that scary.
7. Employ self-monitoring and overlearning
    • Stop and test yourself about the information when you are studying
    • Example: “Check & Review”
    • Stop and repeat difficult sentences
    • Overlearning, studying the information when you already know it
8. Use mnemonics. Mnemonic devices.
    • Method of loci, think of physical objects to memorize
    • Peg-word mnemonic, memorize things with a visual.
    • Substitute word; use the letters of the words to think of other things.
    • Method of word association, use acronyms

Chapter 7: Important People

Elizabeth Loftus: Researched the misinformation effect and false memories. Her experiments reveal that memories can be changed by things we are told, facts, ideas or suggestions. She is very controversial because she used her ideas in court and defended the accused by pointing out the eyewitness accounts against the defendant are most likely incorrect.
Fegus Craik: He had ground breaking research on the levels of processing memory. He discovered that if we relate and give the information meaning there is a more likely chance we will remember it. He discovered this working with Robert Lockhart.
Robert Lockhart: Contributed to the groundbreaking research of the different levels of processing memory. He helped discover the more meaning and thought we give a memory the more likely we are to remember it. He worked with Fegus Craik.
George Sperling: He studied memory-span. He flashed note cards in front of his participants with about twelve letters on them and asked them to name the letters they saw. They could only remember four or five.
Godden & Baddely: He proved in an experiment how the context of how you learned and memorized something affects how well you learn and remember the material or situation. He conducted an experiment in which he had underwater divers learn a list of 40 words either on land or under the water. The divers had better recall for the lists they memorized underwater only if they were underwater at the time of retrieval, while lists memorized on land were best recalled on land.
Hermann Ebbinghaus: He studied the limits of his own memory and his research in 1885 was the first in the area of experiments on memory and forgetting. Using nonsense syllables that he taught himself, he calculated the percentage of syllables that he remembered after a given amount of time. He graphed the rate into a “forgetting curve” and later noted that it was easier to relearn the nonsense syllables.
Sigmund Freud: An Austrian psychologist who developed controversial theories about dreams and personality as well as memory. He suggested that memories are repressed to prevent the subject from suffering the pain of the memory. According to Freud, the memories exist in the unconscious and cannot be accessed without therapy. Repressed memories are part of a multi-faceted and controversial area of psychology.
John Donovan & David Radosevich: Studied the effect of the spacing of practice on the subject’s ability to remember. Their research suggested that distributed practice (learning periods spread out over time, with designated rest periods) is more effective than massed practice (one long unbroken learning period). They utilized 63 studies to arrive at their conclusion and each study, as well as life experiences, verify the results.
Ross & Millson: They designed a cross-cultural study to explore cultural differences in Memory and Forgetting. American and Ghanaian college students were used to test their ability to remember stories that were read aloud. The students listened without knowing they were to be tested two weeks later. Two weeks later the participants were asked to recall and write down as much as they remembered and the Ghanaian students had better recall than the Americans did. Their superior performance was attributed to their cultures long oral tradition, which required developing greater skill in encoding oral information.
Wagner (1982): Conducted a study with Moroccan and Mexican urban and rural children on the effects of formal schooling. The participants were shown seven cards placed facedown in front of them, one at a time. Then they were shown another card and asked to identify its duplicate. Everyone, regardless of culture or schooling was able to recall the latest card presented (recency effect). The amount of schooling however, did affect overall recall and the ability to recall the earliest card shown (primacy effect). Suggested that primacy effect depended on rehearsal - silent repetition of things you are trying to remember. According to Wagner, memory has a “hardware” section that does not change across culture, its universal. It also has a “software” section that develops strategies for remembering, that part is learned.
Karl Lashley (1890-1958): Lashley wanted to figure out where memories were located and he wanted to track them down. He believed that memory was localized, or placed in one certain area of the brain. He began by testing rats, making them learn a maze, surgically removing parts of their brain, and then retesting their memory of the maze. After three decades, Lashley was still frustrated to find that the rats were still able to run the maze, even without the certain areas of the cortex he had cut. After failing to find a localized area for memory, he finally decided that memory was distributed throughout the cortex.
James Brewer: In 1998 he showed pictures of indoor and outdoor scenes to participants while scanning their brains and then later asked them to recall these pictures. He identified the prefrontal cortex and the parahippocampal cortex as the most important brain regions for encoding pictures.

Chapter 7: Interesting Facts

  • Exercise can help to recall information more effectively. The movement caused by exercise, “stimulate[s] the size of axons” (Chooi).(1)
  • Memory has the strongest association with the sense of smell. This may be due to the physical proximity of the primary olfactory cortex with the amygdala and the hippocampus, which are involved in emotional memory. Because of this, there are fewer synaptic steps necessary for a smell to evoke a memory.
  • Frequent jet lag can cause damage to your memory. This may be due to the release of stress hormones released during the unpleasant symptoms of jet lag that damage the temporal lobe, which plays an important role in memory.
  • Short term memory decays rapidly (200 ms.) and also has a limited capacity. Chunking of information can lead to an increase in the short term memory capacity. This is the reason why a hyphenated phone number is easier to remember than a single long number. Also, there’s a reason phone numbers are only 7 digits. It’s because that’s the maximum capacity of our short-term memory 7 plus or minus 2. (2)

  • Your long-term memory shuts down during sleep. That’s why you often dream about something you just saw – and why dreams fade quickly once you wake up. Even though we have several dreams during the night, they aren’t being recorded into long-term memory.(2)
  • TV really can be a brain killer. It may be tempting to zone out in front of the tube after a stressful day – but don’t watch more than 2 hours. Because too much TV may damage your memory. Basically, when you’re watching TV, your neurons can barely be bothered to fire. A study from the journal Brain and Cognition found that for each additional hour per day a person watches TV between the ages of 40 and 59, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s later in life increases by 1.3%. (2)
  • Caffeine boosts memory. It improves short-term memory. Information received while caffeine is in the system is retained better. This is because caffeine is a stimulant.
Works Cited
Dr. Yip Swe Chooi. "Some Interesting Facts about Memory - by Dr Yip Swe Chooi." Danone Dumex – A World of Advice from Pregnancy. Dumex. Web. 30 Mar. 2011.
<>. (1)

"Human memory." College of Computing. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2011. <>.(2)