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Memory Part III Encoding & Retrieval Exceptional Memory.

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Presentation on theme: "Memory Part III Encoding & Retrieval Exceptional Memory."— Presentation transcript:

1 Memory Part III Encoding & Retrieval Exceptional Memory

2 Overview Causes of Forgetting Interactions between encoding and retrieval Exceptional memory performance

3 Stage theory of memory Sensory Memory Decay Short-term Memory Response Rehearsal Encoding Retrieval Long-Term Memory Attention

4 Causes of forgetting in LTM Inadequate encoding – information is not attended to or is not transferred to LTM Decay – memory traces decay in strength over time Interference – memories learned before or after some given memory interfere with retrieval Distortion – memories are modified over time

5 Retention Functions The longer the retention interval (time between learning and retrieval) the greater the chance of forgetting Ebbinghaus (1885-1913)

6 Retention & Autobiographical Memory Schrauf & Rubin (1998) Typically, everyday memory follows Ebbinghaus’ retention function Exception: enhanced memory for events during adolescence & young adulthood  “reminiscence bump”

7 Causes of forgetting Inadequate encoding – information is not attended to or is not transferred to LTM Decay – memory traces decay in strength over time Interference – memories learned before or after some given memory interfere with retrieval Distortion– memories are modified over time

8 Interference “Memories interfering with memories” –Book calls this effect of “new learning” Caused by one memory competing with another memory 8

9 Interference from intervening events Experiment: ask for recall of previous teams played

10 Retrieval failures Forgetting can occur when the wrong retrieval cues are used Context reinstatement Cues are useful if they re-create the context in which the original learning occurred allows the person to use retrieval paths.

11 Context Reinstatement Memory experiment with deep-sea divers –Deep-sea divers learned words either on land or underwater –They then performed a recall test on land or underwater Godden & Baddeley (1975, 1980)

12 State-dependent memory Memory is enhanced if people learn and recall information in the same physical state

13 Emotional State-Dependent Memory 1.Learn 16 words when happy Learn 16 words when sad 2.Placed in happy or sad mood. 3.Asked to recall words Kenealy (1997)

14 State-dependent recall Study while smoking normal or marijuana cigarette. Test words under same or different physical condition (Eich et al. 1975)

15 The Spacing Effect Spacing effect: Memory is better for repeated information if repetitions occur spaced over time than if they occur massed, one after another

16 Spacing Effects Spaced repetitions better for long term retention. Massed better for short term retention.

17 Explaining Spacing Effects Studying material on different occasions (spacing) leads to different encodings of the same material Because spacing increases encoding variability, there are more ways in which information can be accessed and retrieved at test

18 Exceptional Feats of Memorization Cases where people do not forget anything

19 Patient S Described in Luria (1975): “The mind of a mnemonist” “virtually limitless’ memory” Had capability of synesthesia But could also not forget irrelevant details: bad at inductive reasoning (‘filling in the blanks’)

20 Daniel Tammet Described in book “Born on a blue day” Aspergers syndrome Has capability of synesthesia

21 Video (~7 min.) YouTube:

22 Superior Autobiographical Memory Recently, James McGaugh at UC Irvine discovered individuals with highly superior autobiographical memory (HSAM) Individuals are “normal” –are not autistic or savants –not synesthetes James McGaugh

23 Video Video available at: Also watch part 2:;housing;housing Report from Jan 12, 2014:

24 Lab testing of Subjects with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM) Significantly better performance at recalling public as well as personal autobiographical events However, their performance was comparable to age- and sex- matched controls on most standard laboratory memory tests (e.g. digit span) They are not immune to memory distortions (e.g. false memory) OCD tendencies Found some enlarged brain areas: the temporal lobe and the caudate nucleus were found to be enlarged

25 Study of "Memory Athletes" People who compete in mind games, particularly World Memory Championships and national memory championships World Memory Championships involve ten events, many of which are like ones psychologists routinely study such as serial recall [following slides courtesy of Roddy Roediger]

26 World Records Forward digit span (0-9) – 364 digits – Johannes Mallow Binary Digits 5 min – 1080 digits Johannes Mallow Binary Digits – 30 min – 4,140 digits – Ben Pridmore Speed cards – 21.19 sec – Simon Reinhard Long Playing Cards (1 hr) – 1,456 cards (28 decks) – Ben P. Long numbers (1 hr) – 2660 digits – Wang Feng Random words (15 min) – 300 words – Simon Reinhard

27 Memory Athletes Tested at Un. of Washington St Louis: Ben Pridmore Nelson Dellis Boris-Nikolai Konrad Brad Zupp United KingdomUSA Germany USA James Paterson Simon Reinhard Johannes Mallow United Kingdom Germany Germany

28 A Variant of the DRM False Memory Paradigm A powerful false memory paradigm: Semantic + lexical list words related to a “missing” item bed sweep yawn rest steep pillow sleet awake slope snooze pillow cheap snore sloop slumber sleek… 112 words are presented at a 2 second rate 8 mini-lists of 14 words (7 semantic, 7 lexical) sleep is not presented, but the list words are related to it either semantically or lexically. So activation spreads throughout both lexical and semantic networks.

29 Memory Athletes Show Superior Discrimination Abilities

30 Attentional Control Stroop Task – Name the color of ink of each word that will be presented on screen as quickly and accurately as possible BLUE DEEP YELLOW BROWN CHAIR.

31 Enhanced Attentional Control for all Superior Memory Individuals

32 Summary of Findings Memory athletes have shown exceptional performance on memory tasks, even ones they have never seen All superior memory groups show better attentional control as reflected by Stroop interference than a college control group


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