1. How would you define memory?
2. Is there anything that you do that does not
rely on memory?
3. What would your day be like if you had no
4. Could you learn if you could not remember?
5. Could you remember if you were unable to
Memory is learning that has persisted
Memory is an active system that enables
us to acquire, store and retrieve
Encoding: Converting information into a
Storage: Holding this information in
memory for later use
Retrieval: Finding the information and
retrieving out of storage
In groups - consider learning for a test
1. What factors influence your ability to encode
2. What factors may influence your ability to
3. What factors may influence your ability to
Not attended to Forgotten if
Stores an exact copy of incoming
information for a few seconds or less; the
first stage of memory.
Eg taste, feeling, smell, sight, sound etc
Depends upon selective attention.
Iconic: A fleeting mental image or visual
This mental image persists for about 1/3rd of a
George Sperling - 1960s.
Using a tachistoscope, Sperling showed his test
subjects letters arranged to form a box shape,
three letters tall and four letters across.
The tachistoscope, invented in 1859 and
used to increase memory or reading speed,
is a projector apparatus that flashes images
on a screen for only a fraction of a second.
Sperling recorded how many blocked
letters subjects could read during the visual
flash. Generally, participants could read
three or four letters during the iconic
Iconic store is transient, decaying to less
than 50% of peak performance within one
All items in the array are placed in the iconic
Iconic memory Test
Echoic: After a sound is heard, a brief
continuation of the sound in the auditory
Lasts for 2-4 seconds.
Helps us understand speech.
Echoic memory is dramatically lower after 2
seconds, and disappears by 5 seconds.
Holds small amounts of information
Effectively retained for about 6s, declines
after 12, gone after 20s
Often called “working memory”
Google: short term memory test
Write a hypothesis
Conduct the experiment and collect the data
Describe any uncontrolled variables
Describe any ethical considerations that would
need to be taken into account if this was
conducted as a formal experiment using
Short-term memory is characterised by its limited
capacity and quick loss of information. In a test of
capacity, such as a digit span task, it can hold
only approximately seven (+ or - 2) items.
You can increase the amount of information
stored in the STM by using chunking.
Eg Remember 18952012
Why is some information in short-term
memory lost and can only be held in
storage for a short time?
Information in short-term memory is lost
quickly; it can only be held in storage for a
1. Decay - information is slowly lost,
(memories fade away over time).
2. Interference, the information pushes
memories out of the short-term storage.
Two types of interference: proactive and
Older memories make it more difficult to
encode new ones.
Eg I have trouble recalling my new phone
number, because I get it mixed up with my old
number. (My old memories project (interfere)
with my new memories. )
A student finds a new concept to be hard to
understand because she confuses it with
similar ideas she has already learned.
New memories disrupt and "push out" older
I have trouble recalling my old phone number,
because I get it mixed up with my new number.
A student understood a concept two weeks
ago, but can no longer discuss the concept
correctly, because he confuses it with a new
concept he studied yesterday.
Maintenance Rehearsal: Repeating
information silently to prolong its
presence in STM
Elaborative Rehearsal: Links new
information with existing memories and
knowledge in LTM
Good way to transfer STM information into
Short term memory
Long term memory
Storing information relatively permanently
Stored on basis of meaning and importance
After a test how much information do you
a) After 5 minutes?
b) After 5 hours?
c) After 5 days?
The stronger the memory, the longer period of
time that a person is able to recall it. The
forgetting curve shows that humans tend to
halve their memory of newly learned
knowledge in a matter of days or weeks
unless they consciously review the learned
Learning again something that was
Used to measure memory of prior learning
Savings Score: Amount of time saved when
1. Procedural: Long-term memories of
conditioned responses and learned skills
–eg playing the piano, driving, sending an
list 3 more
2. Declarative: LTM section that contains
a. Semantic Memory: Facts and
Melbourne is the capital of Victoria
b. Episodic: Personal experiences linked
with specific times and places –
Remembering your holiday to Melbourne
Supply or reproduce facts or information
with a minimum of external cues; direct
retrieval of facts or information
Hardest to recall items in the middle of a list;
known as Serial Position Effect
Easiest to remember last items in a list
because they are still in STM
Recency Effect - Easiest to remember last
items in a list because they are still in STM
Primacy effect – Next easiest is to remember
items at the beginning of the list
Hardest to recall items in the middle of a list;
A mnemonic device is a mind memory
and/or learning aid. Commonly,
mnemonics are verbal—such as a
very short poem or a special word
used to help a person remember
something—but may be visual,
kinesthetic or auditory.
Use mental pictures
Make things meaningful
Make information familiar
Form bizarre, unusual or exaggerated mental
Keyword Method: Memory aid; using a
familiar word or image to link two items
Form a Story or Chain: Remember lists in
order, forming an exaggerated association
connecting item one to two, and so on
Take a Mental Walk: Mentally walk along a
familiar path, placing objects or ideas along
Use a system
Very persuasive in court
Often faulty due to
High arousal levels
Lack of attentional focus
LTM can alter memories (eg false memories)
Police line-up evidence tainted due to
Witness being “led” by police
Witness eagerness to please police
The false belief that the perpertrator is
present in the line-up.
Bomber on the roof
The theory that information stored in LTM
sometimes changes over time to become
more consistent with our beliefs,
knowledge, and expectations.
False memories (confabulations) are as
“real” as real memories.
Some memories may be distorted through
influences such as the incorporation of new
some are the result of the prodding, leading,
and suggestions of therapists and
Some are the result of brain damage or
lesions – (Korsakoff's syndrome)
Dr. Elizabeth Loftus has shown it is
relatively easy to implant false memories,
especially in an individual with an internal
desire to please or to conform.
Memories created during times of personal
tragedy, accident, or other emotionally
significant events that are especially vivid
Where were you when you heard that the USA
was attacked on September 11th, 2001?
Includes both positive and negative events
Not always accurate
Great confidence is placed in them even
though they may be inaccurate
Hippocampus: Brain structure associated
with information passing from short-
term memory into long-term memory;
also associated with emotion
If damaged, person can no longer “create”
long-term memories and thus will always
live in the present
Memories prior to damage will remain intact
Knowledge of Results: Feedback allowing
you to check your progress
Recitation: Summarizing aloud while you
are rehearsing material
Rehearsal: Reviewing information mentally
Elaborative Rehearsal: Look for connections
to existing knowledge
Selection: Selecting most important
concepts to memorize
Organization: Organizing difficult items into
chunks; a type of reordering
1. Identify the operations involved in the information-processing view of memory
and understand the three-stage theory of memory.
2. Know the characteristics of the sensory registers (ionic, echoic).
3. Define short-term memory and understand how its life span and capacity can
4. Discuss the ways in which long-term memory differs from short-term memory.
5. Describe the three kinds of long-term memory: procedural, declarative -
episodic and declarative- semantic.
6. Explain the effect of maintenance and elaborative rehearsal and the uses of
mnemonics in storage of information in LTM
9. Explain the serial position effect
10. Distinguish between deep and shallow processing in the levels of
processing model and understand the role of elaboration.
11. Distinguish among the major theories of forgetting: decay theory,
interference theory (proactive and retroactive inhibition), and motivated
12. Understand how information is organized in long-term memory.
13. Understand the purpose of schemas.
14. Describe the formation of false memories and flashbulb memories.
15. Understand the results of research relating eyewitness testimony and
Scroll down to episode 9 , click on Vod box
(video on demand)
9. Remembering and Forgetting
This program looks at the complex process called memory: how images, ideas,
language, and even physical actions, sounds, and smells are translated into
codes, represented in the memory and retrieved when needed.