Overheads for the 3rd (last) exam
Who has good memory?
What are the differences in people's memory ability?
Why are some people so good at certain memory tasks?
Is it genetic?
Is it practice?
Is it background knowledge?
Rockies vs. Diamondbacks Colorado 7th inning
Kile flied out to right. Lansing singled to center. E Burks doubled to left, Lansing scored. C Goodwin ran for E Burks. Clint Sodowsky relieved Andy Benes. L Walker singled to right, C Goodwin scored. Bichette singled to right, L Walker to third. V Castilla homered to center, L Walker and Bichette scored Helton walked. N Perez flied out to shallow left center. Manwaring lined out to second. 5 Runs, 5 Hits, 0 Errors (74 words)
Chicago vs. Detroit
Pippen made a 3-pointer 2:07 into overtime, Jerry Stackhouse missed a 3 on Detroit's next touch and Jordan made two foul shots with 2:23 left after being held with a clear path to the basket. That made it 100-95, and Jordan added a tough turnaround jumper with 1:49 left for a 102-97 lead.
After Hill scored, Rodman had his back to the basket when he flipped an over-the-shoulder pass to a cutting Pippen for a layup that restored a five-point lead and more or less ended Detroit's last hope. (98 words)
Jim Beam stakes at Turfway Park
Event of the Year, the 4-5 favorite covered the the 1 1/8-miles in one minute, 47 seconds -- just two-fifths of a second off the track and stakes record set by Hansel in 1991 -- giving jockey Russell Baze his third win of the day. Yukon Pete led the field to the half-mile marker in 45 1/5 seconds before Baze got Event of the Year in gear as the colt raced four-wide to the three-quarter pole in a quick 1:09 2/5. Event of the Year easily held off Yarrow Brae, ridden by Willie Martinez, and third place finisher Truluck, with Pat Day, to the wire.
Individual differences in memory abilities
How much do people differ in memory abilities?
Underwood, Boruch, and , Malmi (1978)
Study of individual differences in memory
200 undergraduates in 10 sessions with 24 memory tests
What is the pattern of correlations between different memory tasks?
Large individual differences between college students
Differences in performance were a function of task demands
Some better at abstract words, others better at memory span...
Implications: we are typically not good at everything and if you are good at one memory task, you might not be good at another.
What about all those memory experts?
Expertise and Memory
Studies of expertise and memory:
Ceci & Liker (1986) memory in horse race betters
Strategies used: horse's closing speed, track conditions, purse size, jockey abilitiy
Need memory of previous encounters with horse/jockey/conditions
No correlation to intelligence
Memory for musical pieces in musicians
Well structured music, chunking of music
Chi: Children's memory for chess positions
Other studies of Chess:
Studies of chess experts: Degroot (1966)
No major differences in intellectual abilities
Masters and Grandmasters do not look ahead a greater number of moves (depth of search)
Very rapid pattern recognition of familiar arrangements of chess pieces
(50,000 unique patterns stored in a grandmaster)
Grandmasters could reproduce whole chessboards from memory with 5 seconds of study time
Ability to chunk information for better processing in STM and storage in LTM
Experts not better at reconstructing chess boards with randomly placed pieces Chase & Simon (1973)
Similar findings for other domains
Bridge, Electronic Circuits
Keys to encoding in experts:
Hierarchical knowledge structures in LTM
Organization permits quick retrieval
Memory skill makes for faster access, less strain on working memory
Skilled memory theory (Chase & Ericsson, 1982)
Exceptional feats of memory are not due to innate, neurological differences between people. Instead they are due to having sufficient practice and motivation.
Key principles of skilled memory theory:
1) Information must be encoded in a meaningful manner using previous knowledge to form associations
2) During encoding it is necessary to attach specific retrieval cues to the material so that it can be accessed from LTM by using the cues
3) Extensive practice increases the speed of encoding and retreival operations
Skilled memory results in encoding so that information in LTM is used in a way similar to that of STM.
How do we get exceptional memory?
Individuals with extraordinary memory abilities
Mnemonists: people who use mnenomic techniques
S.V Shereshevskii (S)
Studied by Luria (1968) Mind of a mnemonist
Large memory span (70 digits presented 3-4 secs. apart)
Recall of digits in any order (backwards, forward, diagonally)
Good recall of words, nonsense syllables, numbers, sounds, oral or visual items
Recall of lists presented many years earlier
Explanations for S's performance:
1) Possible eidetic memory
S reported being able to "see" table of numbers and could just read it off
2) Synesthesia: Sensory experiences in one modality evoke sensory experiences in other modalities
Sounds produce images of lights, color and produce certain tastes
"What a crumbly yellow voice you have"
The same stimuli evoked the identical synesthetic reaction
3) Used method of Loci
Walking the streets of Moscow
Recall errors due to not noticing items on his "walks"
Digit span of 17
Not affected by Brown-Peterson distractor task
Very high retention of stories
Explanations for V.P.'s performance
Generated idiosyncratic verbal associations for material to be remembered
Associated words/ nonsense material to words/stories/names/dates he already knew
Spoke 9 languages
High IQ (136)
Creating a mnemonist: S. F. (Chase & Ericsson, 1981, 1982)
Practice on memory span tasks over 2 years
1 hour/day 3-5 days/week
Read a sequence of random digits (1/sec)
Recall in correct order.
If correct, increase number of digits by 1
If incorrect decrease number of digits by 1
Explanation for S.F.'s performance
Running times: 3492 = 3 min. 49.2 secs. (almost world record mile time)
Other associations of ages and dates
Hierarchical retrieval structure of chunks
Replications of study on S.F.
D.D. developed her own chunking system
Elderly can learn task as well.
31,811 digits of pi for Guinness book of world records
Working on 40K digits of pi
6X6 number matrices
No transfer to other abilities, memory
Explanations for Rajan's peformance
Idiosyncratic semantic associations
"111" is a Nelson, since Admiral Nelson had 1 leg, one arm, and 1 leg
Persons of generally low intelligence with some remarkable skill
no close attachements
Need to preserve sameness
Savants are not as common in retarded individuals as in autistic individuals
1) Damage to left hemisphere leads to compensatory development of right hemisphere (music, art skills, mechanical ability) (Brink, 1980)
2) Abnormalities in hippocampus and amygdala affecting ability to do memory consolidation (Mauman & Kemper, 1985)
3) Skilled memory theory Ericsson and Faivre (1988)
Savants are experts in their area of interest
(just like us)
Some people can maintain an image in memory as if it is in front of them
Eidetic image is not an afterimage (doesn't move with your eyes, or change color)
Eidetic image is not photographic memory. There are distortions and additions
Who has eidetic imagery?
2-15 percent of School-aged children
Verbalizing while viewing image interferes with memory
(this suggests why adults do not have the ability)
One case of extraordinary adult eidetic imagery
Excellent recall of images
Could see two pictures of random dot stereogram separated by 10 secs and superimpose them to get image.
Improving your memory
Internal strategies/methods to help encode, store, retrieve information
Techniques can be visual or verbal
What are the key parts of a mnemonic technique?
Improve attention to details of information
Increase effort in encoding the information
Helps organize the information
Techniques that are naturally used without formal training
Repetition (repeating phone numbers)
Rhymes: Thirty days hath september,
First letter mnemonics:
Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie
"Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Techniques that must be learned
Method of loci
One is a gun, two is a shoe, three is a tree
four is a door, five is a hive, six is sticks
seven is heaven eight is a gate nine is a line,
ten is a hen
Do mnemonic systems really help?
Although these technical approaches can help improve your memory:
It is hard to apply to complex material (poems. stories, psychology)
Evidence shows that people rarely use technical mnemonics
Even memory researchers seldom use technical mnemonics
After training, people seldom keep up their mnemonics techniques
People typically use external methods (lists) to help
Useful Mnemonic techniques
Linkword language system
Link english word with foreigh word in an interacting image
Memorizing the days of the week for a year
Knuckles for months with 31 days
Memorize 12 numbers for first sunday of each month
1998 = 4 1 1 5 3 7 5 2 6 4 1 6
What day of the week is January 8th?
What day of the week is August 24th?
What day of the week is Christmas?
External memory plays a major role in our daily lives
Why do we need external memory?
When do we need to use it?
We are aware of our memory abilities and apply it when necessary.
What are the problems with external memory?
Non-commercial memory aids
Commercial Memory aids
A product designed to help a person with memory tasks
Types of memory aids:
Memory Prosthetic: Facilitates memory performance
Memory corrector: Corrects potential memory errors
Memory Robot: Device that performs memory task for user
How Effective are commercial memory aids?
Alarm clocks, timers: Big success
Devices to help you find your remote control or keys
Major problem with commercial memory aids is that using them can often be hard than the actual memory task. (Programming a VCR)
External Knowledge Sources
Dictionaries, Encyclopedia, phonebooks, files, computers
What are the problems with external knowledge sources?
Methods of studying the brain:
How does memory work in the brain?
What are the biological processes involved in forming/retrieving memories
Primary questions: How and Where are memories stored?
Searching for the Engram: A memory trace present in the brain after something has been learned
How localized are memories?
Karl Lashley (1929): Locating memories.
Train rats to navigate maze. After 10 perfect trials, destroy parts of brain, test whether it can run maze.
Why didnt he find the location of memories?
Rat had learned many memories (kinesthetic cues (position of body), proprioceptive (where we are in relationship to our body), olfactory cues.
Neurons and Neural communication
Neurons are nerve cells.
Dendrites: receive information
Axons pass information on to other neurons or to muscles or glands
Myelin sheath: insulates axons, speeds impulses
Information flows from Cell body down to axon
When do cells trigger?
Neuron receives signals on dendrites and cell body
signals can be inhibitory or excitatory
If excitatory - inhibitory signals are greater than a threshold, then the neuron fires.
80% of the weight
Highly interconnected set of neurons (1 neuron connected to 1000s of others)
Made up of folds, actually large sheets of neurons, folded up. More surface area that way
Is there learning from DNA or is it just in the Brain?
Studies in 60s and 70s. Feed planaria other planaria who have been trained to respond to light.
Showed learning, but failed to replicate.
How does our brain change during learning and memory?
Raise rats in impoverished vs. rich environments
Rats in enriched environments have:
Habituation and Sensitization in the Aplysia
Aplysia: ~20,000 large neurons
Gill reflex to touch of siphon.
Habituation: Decrease in gill reflex with repeated presentations
Sensitization: Increase in gill reflex with electric shock
Synaptic changes underlying learning: Long Term Potentiation (LTP)
Electrical stimulation of nerve pathways can lead to increases in excitatory presynaptic and postsynaptic potentials.
Increase lasts for weeks or months
Long Term Potentiation: Neurons that receive stimulation tend to give bigger responses the next time they are stimulated.
Changes in strength of pre and post-synaptic connections
Evidence for learning: If a pathway is used, it tends to be strengthened
How are memories formed? Hebbs two-stage process of memory formation.
Stage 1: Stimuli causes cell assemblies (groups of interconnected neurons) to set into motion a reverberating electrical signal. (like STM)
Stage 2: If reverberations continue for long enough, anatomical changes in neurons and synaptic connections result in stronger connections (like through LTP)
Disruptions of memory is primarily vulnerable during the first stage
How is memory transferred from STM to LTM?
Memory in transition from STM to LTM is susceptible to disruption
Consolidation theory of memory: information is gradually, and under only under certain circumstances, placed into LTM.
Evidence: Retrograde amnesia:
Loss of memory for events occurring prior to the onset of a disturbance causing amnesia
Information that occurred immediately preceding blows to the head tend not to be consolidated.
Trauma interferes with neural activity that permits consolidation of information in STM or in LTM that is still being consolidated
Often doesnt affect memories occurring much earlier before trauma.
Inducing amnesia to test Consolidation theory
Electroconvulsive shock (ECS)
Chorover & Schiller (1965)
Rats attached to wires that could induce ECS
Conditioned rats to do a passive avoidance task
Varied time between footshock and ECS
Implications: Consolidation process can be interrupted disrupting formation of memories.
It is still not clear exactly how long consolidation takes to happen.
Arousal and Memory Consolidation
The arousal hypothesis: The amount of memory consolidation is related to the degree of neural activity in the brain following learning
ECS has less effect on amnesia on rats given electrical stimulation to the hippocampus, reticular formation, and amygdala.
How do drugs affect memory?
Many factors in a drug that can have a facilitory or inhibiting effect.
Remember drug-dependent memory?
Psychoactive Drugs: Benzodiazepines (BZs)
Valium, Librium: For panic disorder, anxiety, tension etc.
BZs impair memory ability affecting encoding of information into STM/LTM
Acetylcholine used for forming memories: Increases in ACH can enhance or reduce memory ability
Scopolamine: disrupts active processing of information
Norepinephrine: Can enhance memory in proper doses when administered directly after learning
Conclusions: Acetylcholine and norepinephrine increase neural activity: Evidence for arousal affecting memory.
Stimulants: Amphetamines can enhance memory when:
Elderly given either sugar or saccharin sweetened lemonade.
Tested for memory:
Sugar group had better memory
Poor memory in elderly related to poor regulation of blood glucose.
Rats learn better with sugar
Glucose enhances level of activity in the brain.
Does consolidation occur when we sleep?
Recall of material is worse when REM sleep is disrupted
REM sleep occurs most with infants, least with elderly.
Where does consolidation occur in the brain?
Medial temporal regions: Hippocampus, amygdala
Diencephalon region: Mammilary bodies, dorsomedial thalamic nuclei
Declarative knowledge (facts, information): seems to be affected by consolidation
Are these areas where LTM and STM for declarative information is stored? No
These areas are used for processing information into LTM.
LTM information is stored in cerebral cortex
How do we know that declarative and non-declarative memories are stored differently?
Why does consolidation take time to occur?
What would life be like if it occurred instantaneously?
Some common memory anomalies
Feeling of having already experienced a situation
Most common among people who have propensity to daydream or are in heightened anxiety, sensitivity or fatigued state.
Why does it occur?
Good and bad Theories
Lack of recognition of something highly familiar.
Explanation: Seeing something when the re are no or different contextual cues
Lack of recall of items from a particular gap of time, typically after doing a monotonous task
Types of memory disorders:
Organic: based on physiological impairment
Psychological: Based on dissociation of memory
Non-organic Disorders: Dissociative Memory Disorders
Can be due to personality change
Stressful or anxiety provoking event causes loss of recall of important personal information.
Loss of information going back years to whole life.
Examples: rape, killing, accidents
Some abilities from past remain.
Amnesic episode can last for days to years
Recover can occur with recall of missing information
Key characteristic: Amnesic is aware that information is missing from life.
Like psychogenic amnesia, however person moves from home and assumes new identity
(can remarry, get new friends, take on different personality)
Person does not seem to be concerned about past
Can recover prior life, although often not completely.
Multiple Personality Disorder
Dissociative disorder where multiple personalities are present
Evidence for multiple identities, each with different memories
However, very rare. Mostly found in U.S.
May be a cultural phenomenon.
How do we know if a disorder is organic or not?
Assessment tools, some disorders may be both.
What causes Organic Memory Disorders?
Recovery from comas there is typically some Retrograde Amnesia (RA)
RA decreases with recovery, although there may always be some loss of memory
Anterograde Amnesia (AA) after injury:
Problem with transferring information into LTM.
Classic Amnesia Syndrome
RA and AA episodes following a loss of consciousness
Due to bilateral damage to brain (typically medial temporal lobes, hippocampus, amygdala)
The case of H.M.: Removal of medial temporal lobes to treat epilepsy
Slight RA, but severe AA
Looses track of conversation
Couldnt remember new house
Still believes his parents are alive
Has some limited recall of important events (Kennedy assassination)
Word stem completion STA --à STAPLE
What information is preserved in classic Amnesia?
Transient Global Amnesia
RA and AA that lasts a few minutes, hours or days
Can be due to many factors, trauma, stress, sexual intercourse, drugs
Could be due to temporary lack of blood-flow to regions of the brain.
Specific memory disorders.
Localized specific memory disorders
Due to injury to specific brain areas
Aphasia: Difficulty expressing/understanding language
Apraxia: Inability to perform purposeful movements
Prospagnosia: Damage to both hemispheres resulting in loss of ability to recognize familiar faces.
Discovered by Sergei Korsakoff (1887)
Cause: Damage to many portions of brain (dorsalthalamic nuclei, mammillary bodies, frontal lobes)
Cause due to: Thiamine deficiency, alcohol
(alcoholics tend to have poor vitamin intake and interferes with intestinal absorption of thiamine)
Primary undifferentiated dementia: Progressive impairment of the brain (changes to brain tissue) with eventual death
Most common type: Alzheimers disease:
Onset of cognitive and behavioral symptoms
Symptoms start off small , so easy to rationalize
Cause of AD: ??
Viral, amount of aluminum exposure, hereditary?