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CHAPTER 8 MEMORY AND INFORMATION PROCESSING. Chapter 8: Figures & Tables SR7e Image Figure 8.1 (A model of information processing) SR7e Image Figure 8.7.

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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 8 MEMORY AND INFORMATION PROCESSING. Chapter 8: Figures & Tables SR7e Image Figure 8.1 (A model of information processing) SR7e Image Figure 8.7."— Presentation transcript:

1 CHAPTER 8 MEMORY AND INFORMATION PROCESSING

2 Chapter 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)

3 Learning Objectives How 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?

4 Information-Processing Approach Emerged amid evidence that the behaviorist approach could not account for performance on all learning and memory tasks The analogy is the computer, with its ability to systematically convert input to output Emphasizes basic mental processes in attention, perception, memory, and decision- making

5 Memory Systems The sensory register logs input, holds an environmental stimulus for a fraction of a second With attention, information is moved to short-term memory –Holds about 7 chunks of information –Short-term memory may be passive or active –Active short-term memory is working memory Stores information while actively working on it Remembered information is moved to long-term memory

6 Caption: A model of information processing

7 Memory Systems Memory processes –Encoding – getting information into the system –Consolidation – processing and organizing information in a form suitable for long-term storage Consolidation transforms a sensory-perceptual experience into a long-lasting memory trace –Facilitated by sleep –Storage – holding information in a long-term memory store A constructive process, not a static recording –Retrieval – information is obtained from long-term memory

8 Memory Systems Retrieval can be accomplished in various ways –Recognition memory – choose from among the options Example: a multiple-choice question on an exam –Recall memory – active retrieval without the aid of cues to remember Example: “How did Atkinson and Shiffrin describe the human information-processing system?” –Cued recall memory – retrieval is facilitated by a hint or a cue Example: “How did Atkinson and Shiffrin describe the movement of information from one stage to the next in their three-stage model of information processing?”

9 Implicit and Explicit Memory Two distinct components of long-term memory – implicit and explicit – respond differently depending upon the nature of the task –Implicit memory (procedural memory) occurs unintentionally, automatically, and without awareness Example: how to ride a bicycle –Remains intact and capacity does not change over the lifespan

10 Implicit and Explicit Memory –Explicit memory (declarative memory) involves deliberate, effortful recollection Includes two forms –Semantic – memory for general facts –Episodic – memory for specific experiences Damage to the medial temporal brain structures can impair creation of episodic memories Capacity of explicit memory increases from infancy to adulthood

11 Problem-Solving Problem-solving is using the information- processing system to reach a goal or make a decision Problem-solving uses executive control processes in planning and monitoring cognition –Selection –Organization –Manipulation –Interpretation of information

12 Learning Objectives How do researchers assess infant memory? What information can infants typically remember? What are the limitations of infants’ memory?

13 The Infant – Memory Researchers have used infants’ capacity for imitation to assess their memory capabilities –Imitation Infants have been observed sticking out their tongues and moving their mouths in ways consistent with a model Infants as young as 6 months display deferred imitation, the ability to imitate a novel act after a delay

14 The Infant – Memory Researchers have used infants’ capacity for habituation to assess their memory capabilities –Habituation Learning not to respond to a stimulus, such as eventually not hearing the drip of a leaky faucet From birth, humans habituate to repeatedly- presented lights, sounds, smells Newborns are capable of recognition memory and prefer a new stimulus to a familiar one

15 The Infant – Memory Researchers have used infants’ capacity for operant conditioning to assess their memory capabilities –Operant conditioning Rovee-Collier and colleagues tied a ribbon to infants’ ankles and to mobiles –The infants quickly learned that leg kicking brought about the positively reinforcing consequence of a jiggling mobile –Also used cued recall: 2-4 weeks later, infants who were shown the mobile kicked vigorously when the ribbon was attached to their ankles –Demonstrated that early memories are cue- dependent and context-specific

16 The Infant – Recall As infants age, they demonstrate recall or deferred imitation over longer periods –Infants as young as 6 months can imitate novel behaviors after a 24-hour delay –By age 2, events can be recalled for months and recall is less cue-dependent –Language helps memory performance By age 2, infants have become verbal and can use words to reconstruct events that happened months earlier

17 The Infant – Recall and Problem-Solving As infants age, they demonstrate recall or deferred imitation over longer periods –Infants as young as 6 months can imitate novel behaviors after a 24-hour delay –By age 2, events can be recalled for months and recall is less cue-dependent –Language helps memory performance By 14 months, infants have learned that adults can help them solve problems –Infants pay attention to cues provided by adults and will solicit help from adults by pointing, etc.

18 Learning Objectives What are the four major hypotheses about why memory improves during childhood? What evidence supports each hypothesis?

19 The Child – Explaining Memory Development Four major hypotheses improvements in learning and memory during childhood –Changes in basic capacities Neural advances in the brain permit more working memory space and faster processing of information –Changes in memory strategies Older children use effective strategies for storing and retrieving information –Increased knowledge about memory Older children know more about their memory –Increased knowledge about the world Material to be learned is more familiar and familiar material is easier to learn

20 The Child – Explaining Memory Development Across childhood and into adolescence, there are improvements in short-term or working memory –There 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 Corresponds to maturation of the hippocampus and other parts of the brain involved in consolidation of memory

21 The Child – Explaining Memory Development Across childhood and into adolescence there are improvements in short-term, or working memory –The speed and efficiency of mental processing in short-term memory improves with age Allows simultaneous mental operations Basic mental processes become automatic, which frees working memory for other purposes Greater knowledge of a domain (e.g., math) increases the speed with which new, related information can be processed Changes correspond to maturation of the frontal lobes of the brain

22 The Child – Explaining Memory Development Memory or encoding strategies develop in predictable order during childhood Perseveration errors decline by age 4 –Continued use of a strategy that was successful in the past despite the strategy’s current lack of success Children increase their use of rehearsal –Repeating items to be learned and remembered Children master organization later in childhood –Classifying items into meaningful groups Elaboration is the last strategy to develop –Actively creating meaningful links between items to be remembered

23 The Child – Explaining Memory Development According to Miller and colleagues, children typically progress through four phases on the way to successful strategy use –Initially, children have a mediation deficiency – they cannot spontaneously use or benefit from strategies –Then production deficiency occurs – children can use strategies they are taught but cannot produce them on their own –Then there is utilization deficiency, in which children produce a strategy, but its use does not benefit task performance –In the final stage, children can produce and benefit from using a memory strategy

24 The Child – Explaining Memory Development During childhood, there are improvements in metacognition –Knowledge of the human mind and of the range of cognitive processes Children with greater metamemory awareness demonstrate better memory ability –Knowledge of memory and understanding how to monitor and regulate memory processes

25 The Child – Explaining Memory Development Children’s knowledge of a content area – their knowledge base – affects learning and memory performance –Expertise allows children to form more and larger mental chunks, which allows them to remember more

26 The Child – Explaining Memory Development Conclusions about the development of learning and memory in childhood –Older children are faster information processors and can juggle more information in working memory Maturation of the nervous system leads to improvements in consolidation of memories Older and younger children, however, do not differ in terms of sensory register or long-term memory capacity

27 The Child – Explaining Memory Development Conclusions –Older children use more effective memory strategies in encoding and retrieving information –Acquisition of memory strategies reflects qualitative rather than quantitative changes –Older children know more about memory; good metamemory may help children choose more appropriate strategies and control and monitor learning more effectively

28 The Child – Explaining Memory Development –Older children know more in general, and their larger knowledge base improves their ability to learn and remember A richer knowledge base allows faster and more efficient processing of information related to the domain of knowledge

29 Learning Objectives When 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?

30 Autobiographical Memories Older children and adults have childhood or infantile amnesia; few autobiographical memories from their first years of life –Infants 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 event –May lack sufficient language skills –Early verbatim memories are unstable and likely to be lost

31 Autobiographical Memories – Scripts Children construct scripts – general event representations (GERs) – of routine activities –Represent the typical sequence and guide future behaviors Children as young as 3 years use scripts to report familiar events –Report what happens in general, rather than exactly what occurred during a specific event

32 Autobiographical Memories – Eyewitness Memory Children’s scripts affect their memory for future events as well as their recollection of past events –Has implications for eyewitness memory Children can demonstrate accurate recall when asked clear and unbiased questions Research has demonstrated that children’s memory of past events can be affected by prompting, by directed questions, and by repeated questioning

33 Problem-Solving Siegler proposed that children’s problem- solving uses a rule assessment approach –Children take in information about a problem and formulate rules to account for the information Children’s selection and use of problem- solving strategies becomes more efficient –Through a natural selection process, the most adaptive ways of thinking survive

34 Problem-Solving Siegler proposed that children’s problem- solving develops in overlapping waves –Overlapping 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

35 Caption: Cognitive development may resemble overlapping waves more than a staircase leading from one stage to another

36 Learning Objective What developments occur in adolescents’ basic capacities, learning and memory strategies, and metacognition?

37 The Adolescent – Strategies New strategies emerge –Elaboration –Strategies such as note-taking that are relevant to school learning Strategies are used deliberately and selectively Become better at moving irrelevant information from working memory so that it doesn’t interfere with task performance

38 The Adolescent – Basic Capacities Adolescents can perform cognitive operations more quickly than children do –Maturational changes in the brain allow adolescents to process information more quickly and to simultaneously process more chunks of information

39 The Adolescent – Metamemory and Knowledge Base The knowledge base continues to expand during adolescence – adolescents perform better because they know more Metamemory and metacognition improve Can tailor reading strategies to different purposes (skimming vs. studying) Strategy of elaboration is recognized as more effective than rote repetition Can monitor whether study time is sufficient – Adolescent girls use more metacognitive strategies than boys – Students from higher SES backgrounds use more metacognitive strategies than lower SES peers

40 Learning Objectives In 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?

41 The Adult – Developing Expertise Adults often function best cognitively in domains in which they have expertise –Takes about 10 years to become an expert and to build a rich, well-organized knowledge base The expert knows more and thinks more effectively than a non-expert –Remembers more new information –Able to solve problems effectively and efficiently Expertise can compensate to some extent for age- related losses in information-processing capacities

42 The Adult – Autobiographical Memory Bauer identified four factors that may influence autobiographical memories –Personal significance of an event has almost no effect on one’s ability to later recall the event –Greater distinctness or uniqueness of an event is consistently associated with better recall –Emotional intensity: highly negative or highly positive emotions are recalled better than events experienced in the context of more neutral emotions –Life phase: the best recall of memories is from the recent past and from adolescence and early adulthood (ages 15-25)

43 The Adult – Memory and Aging Older adults learn new material more slowly, may learn it less well, and may remember less But our knowledge about adult memory and aging is qualified –Research is based on cross-sectional studies –Declines typically are not noticeable until the 70s –Difficulties are most noticeable and most severe among the oldest persons –Not all people experience difficulties –Not all kinds of memory tasks cause difficulty

44 The Adult – Memory and Aging Older adults perform less well when their memory is time-tested Older 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

45 The Adult – Memory and Aging Older adults are likely to be more deficient on tasks requiring recall than on tasks requiring only recognition –Problem with retrieval Older adults have more trouble with explicit memory tasks that require mental effort than with implicit memory tasks that involve more automatic mental processes –Retain fairly good semantic memory but show steady declines in episodic memory

46 The Adult – Explaining Declines in Old Age Older adults’ memory problems are not caused by deficiencies in their knowledge base Metamemory is largely intact across the lifespan, but older adults express more negative beliefs about their memory skills than do younger adults –Possible influence of culture and its views of aging upon performance

47 The 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 event –Illustrated by “tip-of-the-tongue” episodes in which something is known but cannot be retrieved

48 The Adult – Explaining Declines in Old Age Changes in basic processing capacities may explain why older adults fail to use effective memory and retrieval strategies –Decline in the capacity to use working memory to operate actively and simultaneously on multiple pieces of information –May have more trouble ignoring irrelevant task information Limitations in working memory capacity most likely are rooted in neural transmission both early and late in life

49 The Adult – Explaining Declines in Old Age Older adults experience declines in sensory abilities –Visual and auditory skills often are better predictors than processing speed of cognition among older adults

50 The Adult – Explaining Declines in Old Age Contextual theorists emphasize that performance on learning and memory tasks is the product of interaction among –Characteristics of the learner Education, IQ, health, lifestyle –Characteristics of the task or situation –Characteristics of the broader environment, including culture, in which a task is performed

51 The 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 problems However, ultimately declines in basic capacities may limit the problem-solving capacity of many elderly adults in real life, as well as in laboratory conditions

52 The Adult – Selection, Optimization, and Compensation The selection, optimization, and compensation (SOC) framework may explain how older adults cope with and compensate for diminishing cognitive resources –Selection – determine the skills that are most useful –Optimization – make efforts to maintain and strengthen those most useful skills –Compensation – find ways to make up for (compensate) for cognitive deficits


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