Unit 1- Memory


Define Memory

Systemised storage of information based on experience in which these events are processed and are stored ready for use and this information can be utilised for past, present or future.

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The Multi-Store Model

Serial flow of information (processes): Encode > Store > Retrieve

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Concept: Schemata (pl. schema)

“A complex bundle of information or associations stored in the brain which cognitively represents something, often in a vague sort of way”

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Other explanations of memory

Fredrick Bartlett created the expression:  ‘RECONSTRUCTIVE MEMORY’

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Another explanation of memory

Craik and Lockhart (1972)    “Levels of Processing”

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Why we forget?

Memory is a great mystery. It can involve all our senses (vision, sound, smell etc). We can have vivid memories from years and years ago. Yet we can also forget something from literally seconds earlier.

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Amnesia in simple terms, is the temporary loss of memory or permanent loss of memory. The cause can be physical of psychological.

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Organic Amnesia

Organic Amnesia: includes damage to the brain, usually through ‘stroke’ trauma, disease or sedative substance abuse (eg. alcohol, especially long-term abuse).

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Functional or Psychic Amnesia

Functional or Psychic Amnesia:  is caused by psychological factors, such as shock or defense mechanisms eg. Hysterical post-traumatic amnesia.

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Clinical Amnesia (1): Retrograde

Korsakoff’s Syndrome (Butters & Cermak, 1980) Long term alcohol abuse, leaving preserved STM (they might know where they are) but a serious deficit in LTM (they can’t remember  how they got there!)

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Clinical Amnesia (2): Anterograde

Motor bike accident patient  K.F. left with serious deficit   STM (impaired new memory) and preserved LTM (memory ok premorbidity).

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Eye Witness Testimony

Factors which effect the accuracy of EWT: Leading Questions; Unfamiliar faces; Context of recall (C.I.);  Stereotypes 

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Unfamiliar faces

Bruce and Young (1998)    You are only good at recognizing ‘familiar faces’. So much so that identity parades are considered unreliable and only in exceptional circumstances can they be accepted without other collaborating evidence. Concept: VIPER (Video Identity parade Electronic Recognition)

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Cognitive Interviews

Geiselman et al (1985) -

Factual retrieval cues (context dependency: recreate the event)  

Emotional retrieval cues (state dependency: recreate how you felt)

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