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Evidence-Based Long-Term Memory Strategies that Help Students Remember Milton J. Dehn, Ed.D., NCSP Schoolhouse Educational Services Fall, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Evidence-Based Long-Term Memory Strategies that Help Students Remember Milton J. Dehn, Ed.D., NCSP Schoolhouse Educational Services Fall, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evidence-Based Long-Term Memory Strategies that Help Students Remember Milton J. Dehn, Ed.D., NCSP Schoolhouse Educational Services Fall, 2012


3 Notice of Copyright, 2012 This PowerPoint and accompanying materials are copyrighted by Milton J. Dehn and Schoolhouse Educational Services, LLC. All rights reserved. No photocopying, electronic display, or electronic dissemination of these materials is allowed without written permission. For permission, contact

4 Workshop Information Sources References in handout packet Books by Dehn: Working Memory and Academic Learning (2008); Long-Term Memory Problems in Children and Adolescents (2010); Helping Students Remember (2011). Presenter Email:

5 Workshop Overview 1.Memory systems and processes 2.The neuroanatomy of memory 3.Tier I: Screening and effective instruction 4.Tier II: Evidence-based interventions 1.Working memory exercises 2.Long-term memory strategies 5.Tier III: Interventions for severe problems

6 Need for Memory Interventions 1.Under-identified in children & adolescents 2.10% have a WM impairment-Alloway 3.About 6% of average children have LTM deficits (UK research) 4.Half of LD have a memory deficit (Dehn) 5.LTM impairments are a growing problem, e.g, juvenile diabetes and concussions 6.Intervention expertise is lacking; example

7 Memory Systems Three main systems Attention Visual Short- Term Memory Auditory Short-Term Memory Verbal Long-Term Memory Visual Long-Term Memory Retrieval Working Memory

8 WM versus STM 1.STM part of WM construct but separable neurologically 2.STM is storage; WM is storage + processing 3.Effortful rehearsal and retrieval is WM 4.“WM: the limited capacity to retain information while simultaneously manipulating the same or other information for a short period of time” 5.WM is one of the executive functions

9 WM Capacity 1.STM adult span of 7; WM limit of 4 chunks 1.Case examples 2.Focus of attention: might be one chunk 3.Processing and storage use same resource 4.Concurrent processing lowers span 5.Strategies increase span 6.Duration affected by processing speed, content, and amount of interference 7.Human limitationsHuman limitations

10 Cognitive Load Theory 1.WM is a combination of processing & storage 2.Processing & storage both draw on WM capacity 3.Learner can only focus attention on one aspect at a time 4.The greater the processing demands, the less that can be retained in WM/STM (linear) 5.“Cognitive Load” is the processing portion

11 Retention as a Function of Cognitive Load

12 Task Switching (Time Sharing) 1.To retain info. in WM, one must frequently switch from processing to refreshing the info. 2.If the processing (cognitive load) is demanding, there will be less switching and more info. will be lost 3.Theoretically, when cognitive load consumes all of WM; all info. is lost (Barrouillet, 2011) 4.Switching is difficult for young children 5.Example: remember steps while completing an online task

13 Cognitive Load 1.Switching and amount of info. increase the time to complete the processing 2.Environmental distractions add to cog. load 3.Irrelevant thoughts adds to cognitive load 4.Cognitive load is the main determinant of storage in WM (and STM) 5.In experiments with very high load, children can typically retain one item of information

14 STM/WM vs LTM STMLTM Very limited capacityExtensive capacity Retention for secondsRetention for minutes to years Conscious access to all contentLimited conscious access Depends on attentionLess dependent on attention Immediate retrieval onlyRetrieval can be extended Forgetting is immediateForgetting is gradual Amenable to simple strategies Amenable to elaborate strategies Easy to assessDifficult to assess Less susceptible to brain injury Very susceptible to injury Frontal & parietal lobesMedial temporal lobe Electrical activityNeuronal and synaptic changes

15 LTM Memory Systems 1.Explicit/declarative LinkLink 1.Episodic---episodes, events, autobiographical 1.Organized by scripts 2.Semantic---factual, knowledge, academic 1.Organized by schemas 2.Implicit/nondeclarative 1.Priming---unconscious associations (example) 2.Procedural learning--- “how to” learning 3.Classical conditioning---e.g., phobias 3.Prospective Memory (not really a separate memory system)

16 Explicit vs Implicit ExplicitImplicit ConsciousUnconscious Knowledge Skills Flexible expressionRigid expression Hippocampus-dependentNon-hippocampus Recollection expresses Performance expresses Cognitive onlyNon-cognitive also Effortful retrieval alsoAutomatic retrieval only Develops until adulthoodDeveloped by age 3 Vulnerable to injuryResistant to injury

17 Episodic vs Semantic EpisodicSemantic Memory for eventsMemory for facts RememberingKnowing Context dependentContext free Subjective focus Objective focus Vulnerable to pathologyResistant to pathology Develops laterDevelops first Known sourceUnknown source Mostly visuospatialMostly verbal Unintentional encodingMore intentional ChronologicalCategorical Organized spatiotemporallyOrganized by meaning Subject to rapid forgetting Less rapid forgetting Few demands on WMRequires WM

18 Episodic-Semantic Interactions 1.Semantic slowly accrues from episodic 2.School learning is initially episodic but eventually semantic 3.Episodic helps build the semantic 4.Semantic provides the schemas and scripts for the episodic 5.Episodic provides context cues for semantic 6.Memory tests are episodic

19 Encoding 1.Requires attention 2.Associated with learning 3.All other LT memory depends on 4.Enhanced by strategies 5.Hippocampus dependent 6.STM and WM deficits reduce encoding opportunities

20 Learning 1.Mainly refers to initial learning, encoding, and short-term recall 2.Learning curve---improves rapidly then plateaus 3.What is difficult to learn is difficult to remember and vice versa 4.Can be different from retention and recall, given same degree of learning

21 Consolidation 1.Memories become more stable and resistant to interference over time 2.Memories are forgotten because they are not consolidated 3.LT memories are initially and temporarily stored in the hippocampus and adjoining medial temporal lobe structures 4.Over time they are transferred to the cortex for more “permanent” storage

22 Consolidation Details 1.Neuroscience construct; not cognitive psych. 2.Evidence from TBI and amnesia 1.Ribot gradient 3.Takes time: hours to several days 4.Unconscious mostly 5.Much of it occurs during sleep 6.Especially important for semantic memory 7.Reactivations improve consolidation

23 Sleep and Consolidation 1.Mainly during non-REM sleep 2.Hippocampus “replays” experiences/learning 1.“Organizes” information; Strengthens connections 2.“Moves” information to cortical areas 3.Sleep also reduces interference 4.Sleep accounts for 69% of next day improvement in procedural tasks 5.Immediate sleep: 81% recall; delayed: 66%

24 Organization and Storage of Memories 1.The connections more important than the cells 2.Memory traces (pathways): synapses 1.New memories: new synapses or changes in strength 3.In networks of interconnected neurons, with associated items linked more closely 1.Logical linking at the neurological level may result from thinking about two things at the same time (associations) (“fire together; wire together”) 4.Memories end up being stored in same areas that sensed, perceived, and processed info

25 Retrieval 1.Mostly automatic; strengthens memories 2.WM involved in effortful retrieval 3.We know more than we can retrieve 4.Hippocampus reintegrates information 5.Reasoning involved in reconstruction 6.During assessment, compare with recognition to determine whether it is a retrieval or a storage problem

26 Recognition 1.Should be better than uncued retrieval 2.If not, there is a storage problem 3.When significantly better, there is a retrieval problem 1.Slow retrieval 2.Ineffective retrieval 4.If retrieval problems, cued testing (MC, TF, Matching) are appropriate modifications

27 Forgetting 1.Lost from storage; not a retrieval problem 2.Lack of consolidation 3.Fast at first, then reaches asymptote 4.20 to 80% forgotten within 24 hours 5.Some retain well within 30 minutes or first day but then have very poor retention afterwards (poor consolidation) 6.Is it lost or not retrievable at moment?

28 Forgetting 1.Forgetting is necessary/adaptive 1.E.g., forget old address; remember new one 2.Facilitates retention of important info 3.Retrieval causes forgetting of other info 4.Memories that are not retrieved, decay 5.Retrieval type of forgetting: cues don’t match or one cue has multiple associations

29 Interference 1.Proactive---previous learning interferes with current learning 2.Retroactive---current learning interferences with previous learning 3.Related info. is the most interfering 4.Controlled somewhat through inhibition 5.Spread out instruction; different material 1.Block scheduling?

30 Interference 1.The primary cause of forgetting 2.Memory improves when interference reduced 3.Amnesic individuals benefit from delaying interference (dark room example) 4.“Every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain” Homer Simpson

31 Executive Aspect: Metamemory 1.Understanding memory functions 2.Self-awareness of strengths/weaknesses 3.Knowing what you know 1.Judgments of learning 4.Regulating/controlling memory 5.Strategy knowledge and monitoring 6.Conditional knowledge (why it works) 7.Metamemory development is an absolutely essential intervention piece

32 Memory Strategies 1.Simple strategy use by age 3 2.From simple to complex to integrated 3.After age 6, account for LTM improvement 4.Strategy use and recall (r =.81) 5.Use depends on metamemory (r =.41) and knowledge of efficacy 6.Development spurred by academic requirements

33 LTM Memory Development 1.Memory structures fully developed by age 6 except those related to exec. functions 2.Consistent improvements in retention 1.Due to expanded background knowledge 2.Due to growth of effective strategies 3.Retained episodic memories by age 3 4.Semantic before episodic (infantile amnesia) 5.Implicit before explicit

34 Neuroanatomy

35 LTM and the Brain Lobes 1.Temporal lobes---encoding, retrieval, consolidation, temporary storage of long- term episodic memories 2.Frontal lobes---memory strategies for encoding and retrieval (no actual storage of memories) 3.Parietal---auditory and spatial storage 4.Occipital---visuospatial storage

36 The Hippocampus

37 1.Horseshoe shape in temporal lobe 2.Necessary for STM-LTM transfer 3.Encodes, consolidates, retrieves and re- integrates 4.May hold some episodic permanently 5.Explicit memory only 6.Sensitive to injury, glucose, oxygen, & cortisol levels

38 The Hippocampus 1.Responsible for transferring memories to cortex 1.Active during sleep 2.Spatial memory depends on (perhaps more than verbal memory) 1.London’s taxi drivers 3.Large EEG signals 4.High levels of glucocorticoid receptors

39 The Hippocampus 1.Hippocampus cells can grow back 2.New neurons can be created from stem cells; up to six weeks to mature 3.Rats given Prozac had a 70 percent increase in hippocampi cells after three weeks 4.Humans who recover from depression have more hippocampal volume than those who are chronically depressed

40 What the Hippocampus Needs 1.Oxygen 2.Glucose 3.Sleep 4.No cortisol 5.No impact 6.No electricity See YouTube Video: “Hippocampus Damage”Hippocampus Damage

41 At-Risk Conditions, Disorders Risk of damage to hippocampus Some present at birth or early infancy; others acquired later Some temporary with recovery, some stable, some progressively worse Sometimes, damage to prefrontal cortex See Chart Will review details after interventions

42 TBI.25% of youth acquire a TBI each year Severe TBI: 36 – 53% have ongoing impairments in LTM Implicit more resistant to injury More verbal problems than visuospatial Most mild cases recover within a month – But some can have persistent problems Most moderate cases within 1-2 years Metamemory when frontal lobes involved

43 Post-Concussion Syndrome 19% chance for school athletes per year Likely memory problems: few days/weeks Loss of consciousness, orientation, increases risk Possibility of persistent LTM problems should be considered Athletes will deny so they can play again Pre-season baseline testing important (IMPACT) Example: Soccer player

44 Tier I: WM Screening for Young Children 1.Verbal: Digits Forward; Letter Span; Memory for Words; Memory for Sentences 2.Visual-spatial: Picture Recognition, Spatial Span, Recall of Designs 3.Executive WM: Digits Backward; Letter- Number 4.WM levels are very predictive of later academic performance; need for LD

45 Tier I: LT Memory Screening 1.Phonological STM: Digits Forward and Memory for Words 2.Executive WM: Digits Backward 3.Learning: Visual-Auditory Learning or Word List learning 4.Verbal LTM: Verbal Delayed Recall 5.Retrieval: Rapid Automatic Naming and Retrieval Fluency

46 Tier I: Cognitive Load in the Classroom 1.Instruction easily overloads WM 1.By the nature of the material 2.By the manner it is presented 2.Focus on designing instruction that reduces cognitive load 3.Typical classroom learning activities easily overload WM

47 Classroom Overload Exs. 1.Long, complex, inconsistent verbalization 2.Requiring two processes simultaneously 3.No time for processing or rehearsal 4.No external memory aids 5.Noisy learning environment 6.No or limited scaffolding/support 7.Disorganized presentations 8.Too many concurrent demands

48 High Cognitive Load Examples 1.Excessive length 2.Unfamiliar and not meaningful content 3.Demanding mental activities 4.Need to integrate information 5.Keeping track of steps while doing task 6.Tasks that require a lot of switching of attention

49 Cognitive Load Reduction 1.Well designed instruction reduces load 1.Leaves capacity for retention & encoding of info. 2.Or, allow processing without need to remember; e.g. facts in writing are available 3.Or, processing reminders are available 4.Teach students to alternate between processing and refreshing 5.Students learn under low load conditions

50 Reducing Cognitive Load 1.Only one step, process at a time 2.Allow time for processing and rehearsal 3.Allow self-paced processing 4.Provide external memory aids 5.Quite learning environment 6.Organized materials and presentations 7.Worked, partially-completed examples 1.Keep adding more for student to complete

51 Reducing Cognitive Load 1.Sequence material from simple to complex 2.Present material in an integrated way 3.Include visual presentation 4.Side by side information (being able to see as all the information in an integrated fashion) better than stacked information ( e.g. computers) 5.Avoid load that is not related or necessary to the learning (extraneous load)

52 General Skills to Teach Student 1.Ask for help and repetition 2.Take notes 3.Be organized 4.Don’t self-overload; one task/step at a time 5.Learn to use memory aids

53 Tier I: WM and Automaticity 1.Mastery or fluency frees up WM resources 1.Reading decoding and reading comprehension 2.Math problem solving 3.Written language 1.Organization and coordination 4.Long-term structures free up WM 5.Automaticity equals faster processing

54 Rehearsal Strategies (STM) 1.Most have by age 10; 1 st graders can learn 2.Serial and cumulative repetitive process 3.Repeat first word until next delivered then add next word to the repetition 4.First aloud, then subvocal 5.Good maintenance if overlearned 6.Increase length of list 7.More effective than elaborate strategies?

55 Tier I LTM: The Mnemonic Classroom 1.Focus on methods that support consolidation, storage, and retrieval, not just encoding 2.Educates students about memory 3.Teaches memory strategies/mnemonics 4.Conveys message that you can improve your memory 5.Mnemonic instruction improves academic learning

56 Dual Encoding 1.Instructors should make it both verbal and visual or give students time to recode 2.Instruct students to visualize verbal info. 3.Instruction students to name/describe visual- spatial info. 4.Increases the number of pathways available for retrieval 5.Spelling example

57 Verbal Memory Strategy: Elaboration 1.Relate new info. with previous 2.Facilitates encoding and LTM organization, consolidation, retrieval 3.Teachers should provide for young child 4.In-depth versus superficial processing 5.Ties info. with appropriate schema 6.Example: Asking and answering the “Why does this make sense” question

58 Distributed/Spaced Practice 1.More efficient than massed/daily review 2.Strengthens neural pathways 3.Increases learning by 15% 4.Builds on remembered information 5.Supports consolidation & semantic memory 6.Information must actually be retrieved; best when effortful retrieval needed 7.Review should be about the time information is beginning to decay 1.E.g., 1, 2, 4 days, 1, 2, 4 week intervals

59 Periodic Testing 1.Extremely effective 2.Works because retrieval is required 3.Can be self-testing 4.First quiz immediately or within a day 5.Expanding intervals like periodic review 6.Not limited to items actually tested 7.Encoding specificity principle

60 PQRST 1.Preview and skim the passage 2.Generate at least four questions that need answers, such as who, what, when, and where 3.Actively read the passage while seeking answers to the questions 4.Study the information 5.Self-test answers to the questions 6.Dehn’s option: Insert the “why” question

61 Context Cues 1.Within the first week or so, retrieval of info is from episodic memory, not semantic 2.Episodic cues facilitate recall: smell, objects, colors, feelings, etc. 3.Testing in an environment other than the actual learning environment lowers test scores by as much as 30% 4.Teach students to recall the environment when they are tested elsewhere

62 Tier II: WM Interventions & the Brain 1. These are exercises, not strategies 2. Brain plasticity should apply to WM 3.To effect the brain, training must have sufficient difficulty (at the limits of capacity) and intensity; and be repetitive and daily 4.Klingberg claims working memory capacity can be increased in The Overflowing Brain 5.Cogmed: See VideoVideo 6.Methylphenidate (dopamine) improves WM 7.Physical exercise

63 N-Back Task (Exec. WM) 1.Challenging task but easily administered 2.Shown to improve WM capacity 3.Remember stimulus n-items back 4.Do it repetitively 5.Deck of cards ideal; prevents practice effects 6.Parents and children can practice at home 7.n-back taskn-back task 8.What strategy would you teach the child for succeeding at this?

64 N-Back Procedures 1.Display cards one at a time for 1-2 seconds 2.Start over after 1 st error 3.Should get 10 consecutive correct 3 times before going to next N 4.10-15 minutes of daily practice for 4 weeks 5.More challenging: A double n-back 6.Establish baseline 7.Encourage strategy use

65 WM Training Impact on Brain 1.Takeuchi et al. (2010) 2.Adaptive training with 2 N-Back visual tasks 3.Increase in white matter correlated with amount of training & improved performance 4.Mainly adjacent to the corpus callosum and in white matter parietal region 5.Increased transfer of info, at the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, location of executive WM

66 Start With Metamemory 1.Teach child how memory works and its limitations 2.Teach child self-awareness 3.Inform child of personal strengths and weaknesses 4.Teach about how we can control memory 5.Have child keep a journal during intervention Video I Video

67 Convincing Students of the Efficacy of Interventions 1.Memorize word list versus memorize list while visualizing the object 2.Organizational strategy 1.Memorize random words 2.Memorize words arranged in categories 3.Dramatic improvement is convincing 3.Important for maintenance I III II 4.Other ways of documenting progress?

68 Mnemonics Visual mnemonics link information to something already known that will not be forgotten – Act as a scaffold or bridge Verbal not effective with verbal learning disabilities; info lost of mnemonic lost & might not remember what letters represent

69 Visual Mnemonics 1.For students with low verbal WM 2.Link info to something already known that will not be forgotten; Act as a scaffold or bridge 3.Creates associations and meaning 4.Best when student creates images 5.Interactive images best 6.Ideal for those with verbal WM deficit 7.Basic visualization without a mnemonic is also beneficial

70 Keyword 1.Highly effective 2.Combines auditory and visual 3.First, the acoustical link (keyword) 4.Then, image of linked items interacting 5.To retrieve, think of keyword first 6.LD do better when keyword and image providedLinkVideoLinkVideo

71 Keyword Practice Use keywords for Denver, Colorado Use keyword for these Spanish words: Vaca = cow Carta = letter Escalera = ladder Make the images unique, interactive, but focused on the keyword and meaning

72 Loci Visual pairing of items with well known objects, e.g. household furniture Can be in order See videovideo Loci practice with items in student’s bedroom: Boston settlers in sequence: Native Americans, Vikings, Pilgrims, Italians

73 Discussion Pick an intervention that is new to you – Review the information – Explain to your peers Why you like this method Who you would use it with How you intend to use it, e.g., which subjects The challenges involved in its use Discuss how you will demonstrate to students the efficacy of this intervention

74 Tier III Interventions Compared with Tier II, they are: Longer More practice More individualized Also: Data-driven Linked with academic deficiencies

75 Errorless Learning 1.Especially for amnesic cases 2.Prevent learning of errors; unlearning of errors is difficult 3.Prevent guessing; supply most of the answer at first 4.Allows learning through implicit system 5.Learners may not recall having learned but they can learn skills

76 Self-Imaging Imagining yourself in the scene, viewing things as if you were actually there – Imagine details and feelings – For literature, social studies Works because the personal aspects of episodic memory are usually intact

77 External Memory Aids 1.Diaries or journals 2.Memory books or memory notebooks LinkLink 3.Alarms and timers 4.Reminders provided by computers 5.Schedules and assignment calendars 6.Checklists with step-by-step procedures 7.Folders for organizing notes and materials 8.Lists of activities that need to be completed 9.Step-by-step instructions for using a strategy

78 LTM College Case Study 1.Cancerous brain tumors at age 16 2.Affected vision and memory 3.Originally an A-B student, now failing 4.Both episodic memory & semantic probs. 5.Prospective memory problems 6.Metamemory not realistic 7.After first semester 2.5 gpa; 1.After third semester 3.5 gpa 8.His plan at end of training LinkLink

79 Case Study Intervention 1.PDA/Assignment calendar for everything 2.Memory notebook 3.Memory spot at home 4.Study schedule (tied to review schedule) 5.Shorthand for taking notes 6.Update notes immediately following class 7.Highlight notes and make review sheet

80 Case Study Intervention 8.Reading/studying text 1.Preview 2.Elaborative thinking 3.Highlight 4.Answer “why” question 5.Make review sheet 9.Review schedule 10. Self-testing

81 Case Study Intervention 11. How to recall during tests 12. For WM, N-back Sessions via Skype Subject adhered to plan well Learned how to modify and combine strategies Parent observed training and took notes

82 High School Memory Intervention Results: Student’s Reflections on what was learned and how to use it LinkLink

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