2Chapter 8: Figures & Tables SR7e Image Figure 8.1 (A model of information processing)SR7e Image Figure 8.7 (Cognitive development may resemble overlapping waves more than a staircase leading from one stage to another)
3Learning ObjectivesHow do information-processing theorists propose that our memory is organized?How is information learned, remembered, and recalled?What is the difference between implicit and explicit memory?
4Information-Processing Approach Emerged amid evidence that the behaviorist approach could not account for performance on all learning and memory tasksThe analogy is the computer, with its ability to systematically convert input to outputEmphasizes basic mental processes in attention, perception, memory, and decision-making
5Memory SystemsThe sensory register logs input, holds an environmental stimulus for a fraction of a secondWith attention, information is moved to short-term memoryHolds about 7 chunks of informationShort-term memory may be passive or activeActive short-term memory is working memoryStores information while actively working on itRemembered information is moved to long-term memory
7Memory Systems Memory processes Encoding – getting information into the systemConsolidation – processing and organizing information in a form suitable for long-term storageConsolidation transforms a sensory-perceptual experience into a long-lasting memory traceFacilitated by sleepStorage – holding information in a long-term memory storeA constructive process, not a static recordingRetrieval – information is obtained from long-term memory
8Memory Systems Retrieval can be accomplished in various ways Recognition memory – choose from among the optionsExample: a multiple-choice question on an examRecall memory – active retrieval without the aid of cues to rememberExample: “How did Atkinson and Shiffrin describe the human information-processing system?”Cued recall memory – retrieval is facilitated by a hint or a cueExample: “How did Atkinson and Shiffrin describe the movement of information from one stage to the next in their three-stage model of information processing?”
9Implicit and Explicit Memory Two distinct components of long-term memory – implicit and explicit – respond differently depending upon the nature of the taskImplicit memory (procedural memory) occurs unintentionally, automatically, and without awarenessExample: how to ride a bicycleRemains intact and capacity does not change over the lifespan
10Implicit and Explicit Memory Explicit memory (declarative memory) involves deliberate, effortful recollectionIncludes two formsSemantic – memory for general factsEpisodic – memory for specific experiencesDamage to the medial temporal brain structures can impair creation of episodic memoriesCapacity of explicit memory increases from infancy to adulthood
11Problem-SolvingProblem-solving is using the information-processing system to reach a goal or make a decisionProblem-solving uses executive control processes in planning and monitoring cognitionSelectionOrganizationManipulationInterpretation of information
12Learning ObjectivesHow do researchers assess infant memory?What information can infants typically remember?What are the limitations of infants’ memory?
13The Infant – MemoryResearchers have used infants’ capacity for imitation to assess their memory capabilitiesImitationInfants have been observed sticking out their tongues and moving their mouths in ways consistent with a modelInfants as young as 6 months display deferred imitation, the ability to imitate a novel act after a delay
14The Infant – MemoryResearchers have used infants’ capacity for habituation to assess their memory capabilitiesHabituationLearning not to respond to a stimulus, such as eventually not hearing the drip of a leaky faucetFrom birth, humans habituate to repeatedly- presented lights, sounds, smellsNewborns are capable of recognition memory and prefer a new stimulus to a familiar one
15The Infant – MemoryResearchers have used infants’ capacity for operant conditioning to assess their memory capabilitiesOperant conditioningRovee-Collier and colleagues tied a ribbon to infants’ ankles and to mobilesThe infants quickly learned that leg kicking brought about the positively reinforcing consequence of a jiggling mobileAlso used cued recall: 2-4 weeks later, infants who were shown the mobile kicked vigorously when the ribbon was attached to their anklesDemonstrated that early memories are cue-dependent and context-specific
16The Infant – RecallAs infants age, they demonstrate recall or deferred imitation over longer periodsInfants as young as 6 months can imitate novel behaviors after a 24-hour delayBy age 2, events can be recalled for months and recall is less cue-dependentLanguage helps memory performanceBy age 2, infants have become verbal and can use words to reconstruct events that happened months earlier
17The Infant – Recall and Problem-Solving As infants age, they demonstrate recall or deferred imitation over longer periodsInfants as young as 6 months can imitate novel behaviors after a 24-hour delayBy age 2, events can be recalled for months and recall is less cue-dependentLanguage helps memory performanceBy 14 months, infants have learned that adults can help them solve problemsInfants pay attention to cues provided by adults and will solicit help from adults by pointing, etc.
18Learning ObjectivesWhat are the four major hypotheses about why memory improves during childhood?What evidence supports each hypothesis?
19The Child – Explaining Memory Development Four major hypotheses improvements in learning and memory during childhoodChanges in basic capacitiesNeural advances in the brain permit more working memory space and faster processing of informationChanges in memory strategiesOlder children use effective strategies for storing and retrieving informationIncreased knowledge about memoryOlder children know more about their memoryIncreased knowledge about the worldMaterial to be learned is more familiar and familiar material is easier to learn
20The Child – Explaining Memory Development Across childhood and into adolescence, there are improvements in short-term or working memoryThere are not improvements in the basic capacities of long-term memory or the sensory registerImprovements in the capacity of short-term memory between ages 6-7 and ages 12-13Corresponds to maturation of the hippocampus and other parts of the brain involved in consolidation of memoryAcross childhood and into adolescence there are improvements in short-term or working memoryThere are not improvements in the basic capacities of long-term memory or the sensory register.Improvements in the capacity of short-term memory between ages 6-7 and ages 12-13Corresponds to maturation of the hippocampus and other parts of the brain involved in consolidation of memory
21The Child – Explaining Memory Development Across childhood and into adolescence there are improvements in short-term, or working memoryThe speed and efficiency of mental processing in short-term memory improves with ageAllows simultaneous mental operationsBasic mental processes become automatic, which frees working memory for other purposesGreater knowledge of a domain (e.g., math) increases the speed with which new, related information can be processedChanges correspond to maturation of the frontal lobes of the brainAcross childhood and into adolescence there are improvements in short-term or working memoryThe speed and efficiency of mental processing in short-term memory improves with ageAllows simultaneous mental operationsBasic mental processes become automatic which frees working memory for other purposes----Neo-Piagetians suggest that centration by preschoolers is the result of insufficient working memory capacity – can’t keep more than one piece of information in mind.Greater knowledge of a domain (e.g., math) increases the speed with which new, related information can be processed.
22The Child – Explaining Memory Development Memory or encoding strategies develop in predictable order during childhoodPerseveration errors decline by age 4Continued use of a strategy that was successful in the past despite the strategy’s current lack of successChildren increase their use of rehearsalRepeating items to be learned and rememberedChildren master organization later in childhoodClassifying items into meaningful groupsElaboration is the last strategy to developActively creating meaningful links between items to be remembered
23The Child – Explaining Memory Development According to Miller and colleagues, children typically progress through four phases on the way to successful strategy useInitially, children have a mediation deficiency – they cannot spontaneously use or benefit from strategiesThen production deficiency occurs – children can use strategies they are taught but cannot produce them on their ownThen there is utilization deficiency, in which children produce a strategy, but its use does not benefit task performanceIn the final stage, children can produce and benefit from using a memory strategy
24The Child – Explaining Memory Development During childhood, there are improvements in metacognitionKnowledge of the human mind and of the range of cognitive processesChildren with greater metamemory awareness demonstrate better memory abilityKnowledge of memory and understanding how to monitor and regulate memory processes
25The Child – Explaining Memory Development Children’s knowledge of a content area – their knowledge base – affects learning and memory performanceExpertise allows children to form more and larger mental chunks, which allows them to remember more
26The Child – Explaining Memory Development Conclusions about the development of learning and memory in childhoodOlder children are faster information processors and can juggle more information in working memoryMaturation of the nervous system leads to improvements in consolidation of memoriesOlder and younger children, however, do not differ in terms of sensory register or long-term memory capacity
27The Child – Explaining Memory Development ConclusionsOlder children use more effective memory strategies in encoding and retrieving informationAcquisition of memory strategies reflects qualitative rather than quantitative changesOlder children know more about memory; good metamemory may help children choose more appropriate strategies and control and monitor learning more effectively
28The Child – Explaining Memory Development Older children know more in general, and their larger knowledge base improves their ability to learn and rememberA richer knowledge base allows faster and more efficient processing of information related to the domain of knowledge
29Learning ObjectivesWhen do autobiographical memories begin, and what possible explanations can account for childhood amnesia?How do scripts influence memory?How do problem-solving capacities change during childhood?What explanation does Siegler propose for changes in problem-solving?
30Autobiographical Memories Older children and adults have childhood or infantile amnesia; few autobiographical memories from their first years of lifeInfants and toddlers may not have enough space in working memory to hold multiple pieces of information needed to encode and consolidate a memory about an eventMay lack sufficient language skillsEarly verbatim memories are unstable and likely to be lost
31Autobiographical Memories – Scripts Children construct scripts – general event representations (GERs) – of routine activitiesRepresent the typical sequence and guide future behaviorsChildren as young as 3 years use scripts to report familiar eventsReport what happens in general, rather than exactly what occurred during a specific event
32Autobiographical Memories – Eyewitness Memory Children’s scripts affect their memory for future events as well as their recollection of past eventsHas implications for eyewitness memoryChildren can demonstrate accurate recall when asked clear and unbiased questionsResearch has demonstrated that children’s memory of past events can be affected by prompting, by directed questions, and by repeated questioning
33Problem-SolvingSiegler proposed that children’s problem-solving uses a rule assessment approachChildren take in information about a problem and formulate rules to account for the informationChildren’s selection and use of problem-solving strategies becomes more efficientThrough a natural selection process, the most adaptive ways of thinking survive
34Problem-SolvingSiegler proposed that children’s problem-solving develops in overlapping wavesOverlapping waves theory – “process of variability, choice, and change”Knowing and using a variety of strategies, becoming increasingly selective with experience about which strategy to use, and changing/adding strategies as needed
35Caption: Cognitive development may resemble overlapping waves more than a staircase leading from one stage to another
36Learning ObjectiveWhat developments occur in adolescents’ basic capacities, learning and memory strategies, and metacognition?
37The Adolescent – Strategies New strategies emergeElaborationStrategies such as note-taking that are relevant to school learningStrategies are used deliberately and selectivelyBecome better at moving irrelevant information from working memory so that it doesn’t interfere with task performance
38The Adolescent – Basic Capacities Adolescents can perform cognitive operations more quickly than children doMaturational changes in the brain allow adolescents to process information more quickly and to simultaneously process more chunks of information
39The Adolescent – Metamemory and Knowledge Base The knowledge base continues to expand during adolescence – adolescents perform better because they know moreMetamemory and metacognition improveCan tailor reading strategies to different purposes (skimming vs. studying)Strategy of elaboration is recognized as more effective than rote repetitionCan monitor whether study time is sufficientAdolescent girls use more metacognitive strategies than boysStudents from higher SES backgrounds use more metacognitive strategies than lower SES peers
40Learning ObjectivesIn what ways do memory and cognition change during adulthood?What factors help explain the declines in abilities during older adulthood?What can be done to minimize losses with age?How are problem-solving skills affected by aging?
41The Adult – Developing Expertise Adults often function best cognitively in domains in which they have expertiseTakes about 10 years to become an expert and to build a rich, well-organized knowledge baseThe expert knows more and thinks more effectively than a non-expertRemembers more new informationAble to solve problems effectively and efficientlyExpertise can compensate to some extent for age-related losses in information-processing capacities
42The Adult – Autobiographical Memory Bauer identified four factors that may influence autobiographical memoriesPersonal significance of an event has almost no effect on one’s ability to later recall the eventGreater distinctness or uniqueness of an event is consistently associated with better recallEmotional intensity: highly negative or highly positive emotions are recalled better than events experienced in the context of more neutral emotionsLife phase: the best recall of memories is from the recent past and from adolescence and early adulthood (ages 15-25)
43The Adult – Memory and Aging Older adults learn new material more slowly, may learn it less well, and may remember lessBut our knowledge about adult memory and aging is qualifiedResearch is based on cross-sectional studiesDeclines typically are not noticeable until the 70sDifficulties are most noticeable and most severe among the oldest personsNot all people experience difficultiesNot all kinds of memory tasks cause difficulty
44The Adult – Memory and Aging Older adults perform less well when their memory is time-testedOlder adults perform less well when material to be learned is unfamiliar or cannot be linked to existing knowledge (it is meaningless)Older adults perform significantly worse in laboratory contexts and often perform better in naturalistic contexts
45The Adult – Memory and Aging Older adults are likely to be more deficient on tasks requiring recall than on tasks requiring only recognitionProblem with retrievalOlder adults have more trouble with explicit memory tasks that require mental effort than with implicit memory tasks that involve more automatic mental processesRetain fairly good semantic memory but show steady declines in episodic memory
46The Adult – Explaining Declines in Old Age Older adults’ memory problems are not caused by deficiencies in their knowledge baseMetamemory is largely intact across the lifespan, but older adults express more negative beliefs about their memory skills than do younger adultsPossible influence of culture and its views of aging upon performance
47The Adult – Explaining Declines in Old Age Many older adults do not spontaneously use memory strategies (organization, elaboration)However, the biggest problem is with effective retrieval, not with the original encoding of an eventIllustrated by “tip-of-the-tongue” episodes in which something is known but cannot be retrieved
48The Adult – Explaining Declines in Old Age Changes in basic processing capacities may explain why older adults fail to use effective memory and retrieval strategiesDecline in the capacity to use working memory to operate actively and simultaneously on multiple pieces of informationMay have more trouble ignoring irrelevant task informationLimitations in working memory capacity most likely are rooted in neural transmission both early and late in life
49The Adult – Explaining Declines in Old Age Older adults experience declines in sensory abilitiesVisual and auditory skills often are better predictors than processing speed of cognition among older adults
50The Adult – Explaining Declines in Old Age Contextual theorists emphasize that performance on learning and memory tasks is the product of interaction amongCharacteristics of the learnerEducation, IQ, health, lifestyleCharacteristics of the task or situationCharacteristics of the broader environment, including culture, in which a task is performed
51The Adult – Problem-Solving and Aging Older adults are capable of effective problem-solving strategies but do not use them in some contexts (laboratory or unfamiliar task)Older adults can use experience to solve meaningful problemsHowever, ultimately declines in basic capacities may limit the problem-solving capacity of many elderly adults in real life, as well as in laboratory conditions
52The Adult – Selection, Optimization, and Compensation The selection, optimization, and compensation (SOC) framework may explain how older adults cope with and compensate for diminishing cognitive resourcesSelection – determine the skills that are most usefulOptimization – make efforts to maintain and strengthen those most useful skillsCompensation – find ways to make up for (compensate) for cognitive deficits