Psychology of Learning Exam 3

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Henry Molaison (H.M.)

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Henry Molaison (H.M.)

Had medial temporal lobes removed, left with severe memory impairment; took part in studies that revolutionized scientific thinking about memory

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Theodore Ribot

Noticed that individuals with head injuries often developed retrograde amnesia

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Amnesia

Severe memory impairment

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Anterograde Amnesia

A severe impairment in the ability to form new declarative memories

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Association Cortex

Areas of the cerebral cortex involved in associating information within and across sensory modalities

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Basal Forebrain

Group of subcortical structures that connect with the hippocampus via a fiber bundle called the fornix

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Confabulation

When questioned about past events, patients may respond with highly detailed but false memories

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Consolidation Period

A time window in which new memories are vulnerable and easily lost

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Cued Recall

A memory test that involves some kind of prompt or cue to aid recall

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Declarative Memory

A broad class of memories, both semantic and episodic, that can typically be verbalized (declared) or explicitly communicated in some way

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Directed Forgetting

Occurs when we intentionally try to suppress memory

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Electroconvulsive Shock

A brief pulse of electricity that is passed through the brain and can severely disrupt newly formed memories

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Encoding Specificity Effect

States that retrieval is more likely to be successful if the conditions at recall are similar to those that occurred at encoding

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Episodic Memory

Memory for personal experience of specific autobiographical events; it includes information about the spatial and temporal contexts in which the event occurred

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Explicit Memory

A category of memory that includes semantic and episodic memory and that consists of memories of which the person is aware

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False Memory

Memory for events that never actually happened

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Fornix

A fiber bundle that connects subcortical structures, including the basal forebrain, to the hippocampus

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Free Recall

A memory test that involves simply generating requested information from memory

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Frontal Cortex

The regions of the cortex that lie within the frontal lobes

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Functional Amnesia

A sudden, massive retrograde memory loss that seems to result from psychological causes rather than physical causes

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Hippocampus

Complex brain structure embedded in the temporal lobe; important in memory storage

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Implicit Memory

Memory that occurs without the learner’s awareness

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Interference

Reduction in the strength of a memory due to the overlap with the content of other memories

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Levels-of-Processing Effect

The finding that, in general, deeper processing (such as thinking about the semantic meaning of a word) leads to a better recall of the information than shallow processing (such as thinking about the spelling or pronunciation of a word)

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Medial Temporal Lobes

The medial (or inner) surface of the temporal lobe that contains the hippocampus, the amygdala, and the other structures important for memory

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Metamemory

Knowledge of, and ability to think about, our own memories, including both feeling of knowing and judgement of learning

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Multiple Trace Theory

When an event is experienced, it can be stored as an episodic memory by an ensemble of neurons in the hippocampus and neocortex

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Non-REM Sleep

A category of sleep that includes both light sleep and slow wave sleep (SWS)

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Nondeclarative Memory

A broad class of memory that includes skill memory and other types of learning that do not fall under either the episodic or semantic memory categories and that are not always consciously accessible or easy to verbalize

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Proactive Interference

Disruption of new learning by previously stored information

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Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep

A phase of sleep in which the eyes move rapidly under closed lids

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Recognition

A memory test that involves picking out (or recognizing) a studied item from a set of objects

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Reconsolidation

Each time an old (presumably consolidated) memory is recalled or reactivated, it may become vulnerable again

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Retroactive Interference

Disruption of old information by more recent learning

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Retrograde Amnesia

Loss of memories for events that occurred before the injury

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Ribot Gradient

A pattern typically followed with retrograde amnesia, in which it is worse for events that occurred shortly before the injury than for events that occurred in the distant past

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Semantic Memory

Memory for facts or general knowledge about the world, including general personal information

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Sensory Cortex

Areas of the cerebral cortex involved in processing sensory information such as sight and sound

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Slow-Wave Sleep (SWS)

A phase of sleep characterized by large, slow oscillations in the brain that are highly synchronized over wide brain areas

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Source Monitoring Error

Occur when we remember information but are mistaken about the specific episode that is the source of that memory

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Standard Consolidation Theory

Holds that the hippocampus and related medial temporal lobe structures are required for the initial storage and retrieval of an episodic memory but that their contribution diminishes over time until the cortex can retrieve the memory without hippocampal help

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Transfer-Appropriate Processing Effect

States that memory will be best when the way in which information is processed at encoding matches the way it is processed at retrieval

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Transient Global Amnesia (TGA)

Transient, or temporary, disruption memory not due to known causes such as head injury or epilepsy

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Paul Fitts

Proposed that skill learning usually progresses through 3 stages (Cognitive, Associative, Autonomous)

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Associative Stage

The second stage of Fitts’s model of skill learning, when glands begin to use stereotyped actions in performing a skill and rely less on actively recalled memories of rules

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Autonomous Stage

The third stage in Fitts’s model of skill learning, when a skill or subcomponents of the skill become motor programs

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Basal Ganglia

A collection of ganglia that lie at the base of the forebrain

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Closed Skill

A skill that involves performing predefined movements that ideally, never vary

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Cognitive Skill

A skill that requires problem solving or the application of strategies

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Cognitive Stage

The first stage in Fitts’s model of skill learning, when an individual must actively think to encode and perform a skill

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Constant Practice

Practice involving a constrained set of materials and skills

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Deep Brain Stimulation

Has become the most effective neurosurgical technique for treating Parkinson’s, but scientists are still not sure why it works

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Expert

A person who performs a skill better than most

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Identical Elements Theory

The transfer of learned abilities to novel situations depends on the number of elements in the new situation that are identical to those in the situation in which the skills were encoded

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Implicit Learning

Learning that happens accidentally, without awareness of what has been learned

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Knowledge of Results

Feedback about performance; critical to the effectiveness of practice

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Learning Set Formation

Acquiring the about to learn novel tasks rapidly based on frequent experiences with similar tasks

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Massed Practice

Concentrated, continuous practice of a skill

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Mirror Reading

An experimental task that requires individuals to read mirror-reversed text

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Mirror Tracing

An experimental task that requires individuals to trace drawings by watching a mirror image of their hand and of the figure to be traced with the actual hand and figure concealed

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Motor Program

Perceptual-motor skills that an organism can perform with minimal attention

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Motor Prosthesis

Electromechanical devices that are being developed to help people recover lost abilities to learn and perform perceptual- motor skills

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Open Skill

Skill in which movements are made on the basis of predictions about changing demands of the environment

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Parkinson's Disease

A nervous system disease involving disruptions in the normal functions of the basal ganglia and progressive deterioration of motor control

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Perceptual-Motor Skills

Learned movement patterns guided by sensory inputs

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Power Law of Practice

A law stating that the degree to which each new practice session improves performance diminishes after a certain point, such that greater numbers of sessions are needed too further improve the skill

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Rotary Pursuit Task

Frequently used in lab studies of perceptual motor skill learning

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Serial Reaction Time Task

In which participants learn to press one of four keys as soon as a visual cue indicates which key to press

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Skill

An ability that can improve over time through practice

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Skill Decay

Loss of a skill through non-use

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Spaced Practice

Practice of a skill that us spread out over several sessions

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Talent

A person’s genetically endowed ability to perform a skill better than most

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Transfer of Training

Skills that seem to transfer to novel situations

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Transfer Specificity

The restricted applicability of some learned skills to specific situations

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Variable Practice

Practice involving the performance of skills in a wide variety of contexts

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Central Executive

Responsible for updating work memory by receiving & evaluating sensory information, moving items into & retrieving them from long-term memory, and deciding which memories are needed for which tasks

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Cognitive Control

The manipulation and application of working memory for planning, task switching, attention paying, stimulus selection, and the inhibition of inappropriate reflexive behaviors; also known as executive control or executive function

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Delayed Nonmatch-to-Sample (DNMS) Task

Another test of visual memory that involves remembering some object seen at the trial’s start

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Dopamine

A neuromodulator that alters neuron-to-neuron communication

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Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC)

Supports higher-order executive-control functions such as monitoring and manipulating of stored information thus sign the job of Baddeley’s central executive

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Dysexecutive Syndrome

A disrupted ability to think and plan

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Long-Term Memory

Permanent or near- permanent storage of memory that lasts beyond a period of conscious attention

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Perseveration

Failing to learn a new rule and instead persisting using an old rule despite repeated feedback indicating that the old rule is no longer correct

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Phonological Loop

The component of Baddeley’s model of working memory that maintains auditory memories by internal (subvocal) speech rehearsal

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