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the four steps to forming memories

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the four steps to forming memories

Encoding: taking in info from our 5 senses and integrate new info : first stage of long memory formation

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What activities are related to retrieval?

Retrieval, attention, and working memory (sometimes memories require conscious effort)

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Aids to memory formation

- attention

- depth of processing (repetition, memorization, studying)

- sleep

- emotion (wedding, first date, graduation)

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give an example of a flashbulb memory

Asking grandma "What were you doing on the day of 9/11?"

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How can emotion aid and impede encoding and memory?

It can aid memory because emotions are easier to recall; they aren't factual. It can help us remember more but will not always be accurate.

It can impede because sometimes emotions distort our memories.

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autobiographical memory

the memory for events and facts related to one's personal life story (we tend to remember the pleasant times rather than the negative ones--remembering the good readily and the bad not as much).

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Can we unconsciously recall experiences ?

Yes, many things we know are outside of conscious awareness. (ex tying a shoe).

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three-stage model of memory

the classification of memories based on duration as sensory, short-term, and long-term

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the ability to take in, solidify, store, and use information; also store the info that has been learned and remembered.

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types of processing

automatic: where we have to encode info with little effort ot conscious attention to the task "what I ate for breakfast this morning"

effortful: encoding info that occurs with careful attention and conscious effort. (ex studying for exam)

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mnemonic device

method for helping us remember info such as a rhyme or acronym.

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What is the second stage of memory?


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Consolidation is...

the process of establishing, stabilizing or solidifying memory; the second stage of long-term memory formation

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true or false: sleep plays important role in memory consolidation

True. (We recall information better if we "sleep on it" . Not only stabilizes memory but also strengthens and enhances it. Sleep deprivation is detrimental to building memory.)

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What is the third stage of memory formation?

Storage: keeping information

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the retention of encoded information over time; third stage of long term memory formation.

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How do we organize related pieces of information from most specific feature they have in common to most general?


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associative network

a chain of associations between related concepts. Each concept or association in a network is referred to as a node. The links between the nodes are associations. Nodes activate when people think of a concept.

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What is the fourth stage of memory?

Retrieval: getting and using information

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recovery of stored information; the fourth stage of long-term memory.

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sensory memory

the immediate, very brief recording of info in its original sensory form. (usually for about a half a second or less).

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short term memory

the part of memory that temporarily (for 2 to 30 seconds) stores a limited amount of information before it is either transferred to long-term storage or forgotten

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long-term memory

the part of memory that has the capacity to store a vast amount of information for as little as 30 seconds and as long as a lifetime

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What do we do after we sense information ?

We either ignore it or start to process it more deeply.

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what is working memory?

the part of the memory required to attend to and solve a problem at hand. (ex used for when we are following a recipe or solving a math problem).

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What is the difference between short term memory and working memory?

working memory makes use of info in the short term memory. working memory is associated with intellectual ability and intelligence.

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The process of grouping items to be remembered in a smaller set so it is easier to remember.

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stages of the working memory

1) attending to a stimulus

2) storing info about the stimulus

3) rehearsing the stored process to help solve a problem.

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The attention system

supported by 3 storage systems:

1. (phonological loops) for sounds and language

2. (visuospatial sketchpad) images and spatial relations

3. (episodic buffer)for providing temporary storage for specific events

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the central executive

(baddeley's model of working memory) Decides where to focus attention (being bombarded with so many sesnes).

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Once the central executive has taken in and attended to info, what happens next?

it is sent to the temporary store:

a) the visuospatial sketchpad if it is visual or spatial info

b) the episodic buffer if it is a specific event or experience

or, c) the phonological loop if it is a sound or linguistic information.

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visuospatial sketchpad

briefly provides storage for visual and spatial relations (images, photos, scenes, and three-dimensional objects).

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episodic buffer

provides storage info that will become long-term memories of specific events. (think of when you type something on microsoft shit word and the type letters reside in a temporary store; buffer; until you click save for it to transfer the material to your files for the long term).

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phonological loop

the part of working memory that holds and processes verbal and auditory information. assists the central executive by holding limited number of words, numbers for up to 30 seconds. (ex remembering what was on your shopping list)

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the process of reciting or practicing info repeatedly

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serial position effect

the tendency to have better recall for items in a list according to their position in the list

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long term memory

the most complex form of memory: 2 distinct types and 4 distinct stages of processing.

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non-declarative memory (implicit memory)

Memories that cannot be consciously accessed. Made up of knowledge based on previous experience, such as skills we perform automatically once we've mastered them.

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What forms do non-declarative memory (implicit) come in?

procedural memory: knowledge we hold of almost any behavior or physical skill we learn.

priming: the king of implicit memory that occurs when recall is improved by prior exposure to the same or similar stimuli.

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(long-term memory:) Explicit memory

the conscious recall of facts and events.

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(long term memory): semantic memory

a form of memory that recalls facts and general knowledge , such as what we learn in school.

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What is HSAM

highly superior autobiographical memory:

people who can recall in considerable detail from almost any day in their adolescent and adult life. But these people are not better in recalling after short periods of time compared to most.

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the ability within the brain to constantly change both the structure and function of many cells in response to experience or trauma

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long-term potentiation

Occurs when the synapse of one neuron repeatedly fires and excites another neuron. When synapses fire more rapidly, learning becomes easier and more efficient .

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Donald Hebb-- "Hebb's law"

neurons that fire together wire together

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How memories stick (concept)

When a neuron fires more rapidly , it strengthens the synapse by activating a protein called CREB. This protein activates genes causing them to get copied into versions that leave the nucleusand starts a process to "tattoo" the events to our brains

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where are sensory memories processed?

in various sensory cortexes

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where is short-term memory processed?

in the hippocampus and frontal lobes

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where are long-term memories stored?

stored in different parts of the prefrontal cortex(important for attention, social behavior, working memory, impulse control). (mainly hippocampus)

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sensory memory and the brain (concept)

first: sensation travels to the thalamus

second: the thalamus relays the sensory info to the cerebral cortex for further processing

Processing regions of sensory cortex for sensory stimuli:

Visual cortex --> occipital lobe

auditory cortex --> temporal lobes

somatosensory (touch) cortex --> parietal lobes

(Taste and smell do not have their own processing regions)

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Short-term and working memory and the brain (concept)

Hippocampus: where the repeated firing of neural impulses occurs that is necessary in order to convert a short-term memory into a long-term memory.

Working memory: requires the hippocampus and attention and focus which requires the prefrontal cortex.

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How is the hippocampus like a librarian?

(with aid of frontal lobes), it processes or organizes, and directs memories and then returns them to the appropriate location in the cortex for long-term storage.

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Long-term memory and the brain (concept)

How long term memory begins:

1) when sensations are processed they turn into output which is then directed to different brain regions. (ex; learning how to type on a computer. That output gets sent to the cerebellum and striatum. Or, when we experience an emotional event, that output goes to the amygdala. Or, remembering personal , episodicial info that output gets sent to the hippocampus).

2) That long-term memory gets stored.

Explicit long-term memory: memory gets stored in the area where the original sensation was processed.

Implicit memories: memory gets stored in the striatum (part of basal ganglia), the amygdala, and the cerebellum. n

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Prefrontal cortex and working memory

retrieving info requires attention and focus (working memory), which is an activity of the prefrontal cortex.

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transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)

A method of treatment that can stimulate both cortical and deeper brain structures; unlike rTMS it can be used during movement.

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memories can become vulnerable to disruption when they are recalled, resulting in a slightly different memory to the original, requiring them to become consolidated again

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divided attention occurs when...

we are trying to focus on multiple activities at once

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selective attention

the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular thing due to our differing values, attitudes, beliefs and experiences.

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false memories

memories for events that never happened, but were suggested by someone or something. (People with HSAM are still prone to having false memories).

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recovered memories

a memory supposedly from a real event that was encoded and stored but no retrieved (remembered) for a really long time until some event.

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Suggestibility and Misinformation

the development of biased memories from misleading information-- leading questions, comments, or suggestions made by someone else.

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What is the misinformation effect?

occurs when misleading information has corrupted one's memory of an event

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the weakening or loss of memories over time

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Describe interference

(a form of forgetting) Occurs when other information competes with the information we are trying to recall.

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retroactive interference

Occurs when new experiences or information cause the person to forget previously learned experiences or information.

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(Ebbinghau's) Forgetting curve

A graph curve that shows with each passing day, we remember less , but the rate of decline slows.

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form of forgetfulness that involves attention as well as memory; It is a result from inattention. Increases with age; only an issue by age 70 .

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What are attributes/activities that act as a buffer against age-related memory decline?

aerobic exercise, higher education level, certain personality traits.

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a failure to retrieve information that is available in memory even though you are trying to produce it.

An example of blocking is the "tip of the tongue phenomenon".

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(form of blocking). The unconscious act of keeping threatening thoughts, feelings, or impulses out of consciousness. Traumatic memories are more likely to be repressed than other memories.

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When people forget due to injury or disease to the brain

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anterograde amnesia

an inability to form new memories after the injury. They can recall an experience for only 10 minutes, then forget about it again.

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retrograde amnesia

the inability to recall events that happened prior to the injury. (Examples are victims of car accidents, who say they can't remember being in the accident)

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In Alzheimer's disease...

experiences are lost due to anterograde amnesia, which can be caused by retroactive interference and absent-mindedness.

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What is learning

Described as an enduring change in behavior that comes with experience.

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associative learning

you learn through pairing

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What is classical conditioning?

(Learning by association) More reflexive / automatic behaviors

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What is operant conditioning?

More for conscious / effortful behaviors

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Pavlov's experiment

-unconditioned stimulus (meat) caused unconditioned response (salivation) in dogs

-Pavlov repeatedly rang a bell (neutral stimulus) before placing meat in the dogs' mouth

- initially, the dogs didn't react much when they only heard the bell w/o receiving meat

-After repeating procedure several times, dogs began to salivate when they heard the bell (even if he did not deliver meat)

-turned the bell (neutral) into a conditioned stimulus

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What was the result of Pavlov's experiment ?

Any stimulus is capable of triggering any type of learned reaction that you are capable of

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(Classical conditioning) Neutral Stimuli

- Different from desired response (doesn't elicit the desired response); the bell in pavlov's experiment

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(Classical conditioning) Unconditional Stimuli (UNS)

- The stimuli that causes a natural, reflexive response; the food in pavlov's experiment

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(Classical conditioning) Conditioned Stimuli (CS)

- What the neutral stimulus becomes through repeated pairing; pairing of bell + food in Pavlov's experiment

- What makes associative learning possible

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(Classical conditioning) Unconditional response (UR)

- The natural, reflexive response that the Unconditional stimulus elicits ; the salivating of the dogs in Pavlov's experiment

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(Classical conditioning) Conditioned response (CR)

- The learned response that the conditioned stimulus elicits

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(Classical conditioning) Acquisition

The time period that learning is occuring; the time that the natural stimulus (NS) is paired with the conditional stimulus (CS)

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(Classical conditioning) Extinction

the diminishing of a conditioned response; occurs when an unconditioned stimulus does not follow a conditioned stimulus (organism stops responding to the CS; dog stops responding to bell + food).

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(Classical conditioning) spontaneous recovery

the reappearance of a learned response after extinction has occurred (dog forgot that bell no longer meant food; went through extinction period but they responded again).

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(Classical conditioning) Generalization

apply the reaction of one stimulus to those that are similar to it.

Example: Little Albert and furry white rat and furry white rabbit. Scared of both

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(Classical conditioning) Discrimination

The organism. recognized that the new stimulus was a new stimulus, so they don't respond

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(Classical conditioning) Little Albert Experiment

US: the loud sound

CS: white rat albert learned to respond to

UCR: the. fear

CR: also fear

Generalization: Albert showing fear to fuzzy blanket.

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(Classical conditioning) Taste Aversion

Occurs with a stomach ache. Next time you are presented with that food, you feel nauseous

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(Classical conditioning) Higher order conditioning

A conditioned stimulus can begin to act as an unconditional stimulus in a new round of learning.

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(Classical conditioning) latent inhibition

Where previous learning interferes with new learning. Tied with classical conditioninh

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(Classical conditioning) Renewal effect

Happens when learning and the extinction happen in different environments. When put into the original environment, learning will come back

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(Operational learning) Thorndike's Law of Effect

If positive consequences happen in association with an action, that action is likely to repeat.

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(Operational learning) Reinforcement

Goal of this is to increase a behavior

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(Operational learning) Punishment

Goal of this is to decrease an action (not always negative).

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Doesn't mean good; adding something to the situation (positive reinforcement: to increase a behavior; ex you exercise a few times and feel better so now you exercise more often).

(positive punishment: adding something to decrease an action; ex spanking a child)

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Taking something away to the situation.

(Negative reinforcement: taking something away to increase an action or behavior ex; car beeping sound stops after you put seatbelt on).

(Negative punishment: removing something in order to decrease a behavior; ex revoking a child’s remote privileges after hitting their sibling)

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