Unit 7a: Memory


Index (Use Ctrl+F and type the number-letter code)

a1. Key Terms

a2. Major Theories/Concepts

a3. Key People

a4. Major Research

Key Terms

a1. A list of the key terms for this section can be found at http://quizlet.com/3387692/myers-psychology-for-a...

Important terms:

Memory: Learning that has persisted over time.

Encoding: The processing of information into the memory-system.

Storage: The retention off encoded information over time.

Retrieval: The process of getting information out of memory storage

Major Theories/Concepts

a2. Connectionism: A model for memory that states that memories emerge from interconnected neural networks and specific memories arise from particular activation patters within these networks.

Three Stages of Memory: A Model for memory, first proposed by Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin that proposes there are three stages of memory, Sensory->Short-Term->Long-Term.

Modified Three Stages: The updated version of the original model that acknowledges that certain information can be directly processed into long term memory and changes "short-term memory" into "working memory". The concept of short-term memory differs from working memory mainly in that working memory consists of information retrieved from long-term memory, as well as recent information,  rather than exclusively information to be encoded into long term memory.

Key People

a3. Richard Atkinson: Along with Richard Shiffrin, proposed the three stage model of memory.  

Richard Shiffrin: Along with Richard Atkinson, proposed the three stage model of memory.

Hermann Ebbinghaus: Famous for his research on memory decay and the subsequent creation of the "Ebbinghaus forgetting Curve" which depicts memory decay over time.

Sigmund Freud: As part of his psychoanalytic theory, Freud suggested that painful memories are repressed (this has since been debunked).

Major Research

a4. Ebbinghaus' forgetting curve: Hermann Ebbinghaus, studying various aspects of memory decay, learned lists of nonsense syllables and then studied how much he retained up to 30 days later; the result of this research was the discovery that novel information fades quickly, then levels out over time. A second piece of research by Ebbinhaus' studied how long it took to re-learn a list (after a time) based on initial repetitions of that list.

Aplysia research: Eric Kandel and James Schwartz demonstrated that the basis for learning/memory relates to synaptic changes by classically conditioning the California Sea Slug to withdraw its gills when squirted with water. By studying the slug's neural connections before and after conditioning the researchers were able to discern the changes; they noted that when learning occurs, the slug releases more serotonin at specific synapses, which then become more efficient at transmitting signals.

H.M.: Research with a patient (known as H.M.) ,who had a brain area involved in laying new memories of facts and experiences removed, allowed researchers to determine the existence of two "types" of memory: implicit, involving unconscious memories and skills, and explicit, involving conscious memories, facts, etc.. While H.M. was unable to remember new information he became more skilled, over repeated sessions, at tracing the mirrored outline of a star despite not actually remembering research sessions.

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