Memory:A brief introduction Dr Hamid R Sohrabi 4th May 2011
IntroductionMemory research questions:► How do memories form?► What are the bio-psychological processes involved?► How do we forget and what causes forgetfulness?► Can we improve our memory?
MemoryInformation processing conceives of memory as involving three stages:A: How sensory stimulus is acquired: ► EncodingB: How information is restored: ► StorageC: How information is retrieved: ► Retrieval
Memory Three types of memory:A) Sensory registration B) Short-term memory or working memory C) Long-term memory
Information-Processing Model of Memory Attention Rehearsal Sensory Short-term Long-termStimulus Registery memory memory Forgetting Forgetting Forgetting
George Sperling’s Sensory RegisterySperling, G. (1960). Psychological Monographs 74: 1-29.
Sensory Registery► Format: verbatim representation of stimulus;► Capacity: “Not very Large” (~12 items);► Duration: 25ms to 5 seconds.
Short- Term versus Long-Term MemoryShort-term memory:► Limited number of items = 7+/-2► Limited time span (~30 seconds)► Fragility of storage
Short term memoryTry to remember these numbers: 814923786327
Short term memoryChunking boosts our short term memory: 814923786327 814 923 786 327
Short term Memory►Short-term memory is too simplistic;►It is not a passive storage;►It actively processes the information! Baddeley & Hitch, 1974
Working Memory Baddeley & Hitch’s model Central Executive ‘Attentional-executive system’Articulatory Loop Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad ‘inner voice’ ‘inner eye’ Primary Acoustic Store ‘inner ear’
Long-term memory►Is also called Reference Memory►Extremely large capacity (you may recognise 50,000 words!)►Long time span (years, decades)
MemoryFactors influencing our memory:►Age►Health (physical injuries or diseases- e.g. Head injury, stroke, blood pressure etc.)►Psychological factors (attention, personality, negative attitudes, anxiety, depression, self- perceptions etc.)►Lifestyle (cognitive and physical exercise, diet, workload etc.)►Context : External and internal cues
Ageing and Memory► There is age-related decline in some cognitive functions!► No significant difference between young and older adults for immediate & delayed recall.► Older adults do not forget more quickly, they need more time to learn. (Albert, 2002, Ann Neurol., 51:p. 282)► Speed of information processing! (Salthouse, 1996, Psych. Rev.,403--28) Rev.,403► In normal ageing working memory declines faster than short or long term memory!► Individual differences.
American Psychological Association (APA)Causes of memory failures in normal aging: • Anxiety • Dehydration • Depression • Infections • Medication side effects • Poor nutrition • Psychological stress • Substance abuse http://www.apa.org/pi/aging/memory-and-aging.pdf • Thyroid imbalance
APA Memory Aids• Keep “to do” lists http://www.apa.org/pi/aging/memory-and-aging.pdf• Establish a routine• Everything in its place• Use associations• Keep a calendar• Socialize• Get moving• Train your brain• Don’t buy into ageist stereotypes• Avoid distractions• Keep a sense of control and confidence in your memory