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CHAPTER SIX Attention and Memory

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1 CHAPTER SIX Attention and Memory

2 The Information Processing Model
Uses a computer metaphor to explain how people process stimuli The information-processing approach is based on the assumption that information is processed through a series of hypothetical stages or stores.

3 Attentional and Perceptual Processing
Sensory memory Incoming information from the senses is retained in the body’s nervous system Memory details depend on how much attention is given to the stimulus. If attention is given, then the info is passed to the next stage of memory. Age differences are not typically found at this stage; however, they do begin to appear when attentional processes are applied to sensory memory.

4 The amount of attention one has to apply to a particular situation
Attentional Control Speed of Processing How quickly and efficiently these early steps in information processing are completed Slowing of processing with age is task-specific. Processing Resources The amount of attention one has to apply to a particular situation May account for ability to remember. Two theories: Inhibitory loss Attentional loss

5 Attentional Control Inhibitory loss The idea that older persons have task-irrelevant thoughts that interfere with processing. Research shows inhibition is not universal across all aspects of stimulation. Certain strategies can compensate for irrelevant information interference.

6 Divided attention: multitasking
Attentional Loss Divided attention: multitasking Older persons are more penalized when they must divide their attention and find it more difficult to multitask. Writing while listening Conversing while driving Extensive practice can minimize poor performance on multitasking. Older adults use strategies to compensate for inability to multitask.

7 Let’s compare notes!

8 Memory Test

9 Information Processing
Automatic processing: occurs without person being consciously aware Effortful processing: requires one’s full attention

10 Information Processing
Encoding: process of getting information into memory Storage: happens when info is kept in memory Retrieval: getting info back out of memory

11 Memory Processes Working Memory
The active processes and structures involved in holding information in mind Simultaneously using that information, sometimes in conjunction with incoming information to: Solve a problem Make a decision Learn new information

12 Implicit versus Explicit Memory
Explicit memory (declarative) Intentional and conscious remembering of information that is learned at a specific point in time An example is remembering who wrote the Gettysburg address. Implicit memory (procedural memory) Retrieval of information without conscious or intentional recollection Familiar tasks, such as brushing teeth or driving a car. Smaller age differences than explicit memory

13 Long Term Memory The ability to remember extensive amounts of information from a few seconds, hours, or decades. Semantic Memory Learning and remembering the meaning of words and concepts that are not tied to specific occurrences of events in time Episodic Memory Conscious recollection of information from a specific event or point in time

14 Long Term Memory Recall Memory Occurs when one remembers information without any help or cues Do you remember what was on the first slide?

15 Long Term Memory Recognition Memory
Occurs when one selects from a list of several options Were any of the following images on the first slide?

16 Autobiographical Memory
Memory Processes Autobiographical Memory Involves remembering information and events from our own life It is a form of episodic memory. Flashbulb memories Vivid memories of very personal or emotional events

17 Factors Affecting Age Differences in Memory
Encoding Elaborative rehearsal involves making connections between incoming information and information already known. Use of strategies during encoding Organize Establish links Older persons are not as effective in strategies as younger. Pet scans show age differences in encoding.

18 Misinformation and memory
Retrieval False-fame effect Mistaking familiarity for fame Results indicate older persons have a deficit in retrieval. Misinformation and memory Source memory The ability to remember the source of a familiar event as well as if the event is real or imagined False Memory When one remembers items or events that did not occur Remembering childhood abuse that never happened Picking a person out of a lineup that is innocent

19 Eyewitness Testimony, Part II
Uploaded by CBSNewsOnline on Mar 8, 2009 Lesley Stahl explores the task of an eyewitness to choose a criminal out of line up through memory.

20 Memory in Context Prospective Memory
Involves remembering to perform a planned action in the future (remembering to remember) Older patients remember to take medication better than busy middle-aged patients.

21 Cognitive Reserve: Factors That Preserve Memory
Exercising memory Thinking of memory as a mental muscle Multilingualism and Cognitive Functioning Research suggests that older adults who speak four or more languages had the best cognitive state independent of education. Semantic Memory in Service of Episodic Memory Older adults are better at remembering related as opposed to unrelated word pairs, indicating that episodic memory might be a useful encoding strategy

22 Negative Stereotypes and Memory Performance
Older adults do worse on a memory task if they believe that age hampers memory ability

23 Training Memory Skills Strategies
Memory Training Training Memory Skills Strategies External aids: rely on environmental resources Notebooks or calendars Internal aids: rely on mental processes Imagery, rote rehearsal, mnemonics

24 Only modest, short term improvement No medical breakthroughs
Memory Drugs Only modest, short term improvement No medical breakthroughs Combining Strategies What works with one may not work for all

25 Normal versus Abnormal Memory Aging
Distinguish by asking if changes disrupt a person’s ability to function in everyday life Repeatedly forgetting to turn off the stove Forgets the way home Alzheimer’s Progressive destruction of memory Wernicke-Korsakoff Loss of recent memory and sometimes inability to form new memory

26 Memory and Mental Health
Depression Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness Dementias Declines in cognitive performance Irreversible and untreatable Studies found that negative effects of depression on memory are greater in young and middle-aged than in older adults.

27 Nutrition and Drugs that Can Impair Memory
Alcohol and caffeine, if abused, will affect memory. Sedatives and tranquilizers have been found to impair memory.

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