Psychology of Learning Exam 3

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Henry Molaison (H.M.)
Had medial temporal lobes removed, left with severe memory impairment; took part in studies that revolutionized scientific thinking about memory
Theodore Ribot
Noticed that individuals with head injuries often developed retrograde amnesia
Severe memory impairment
Anterograde Amnesia
A severe impairment in the ability to form new declarative memories
Association Cortex
Areas of the cerebral cortex involved in associating information within and across sensory modalities
Basal Forebrain
Group of subcortical structures that connect with the hippocampus via a fiber bundle called the fornix
When questioned about past events, patients may respond with highly detailed but false memories
Consolidation Period
A time window in which new memories are vulnerable and easily lost
Cued Recall
A memory test that involves some kind of prompt or cue to aid recall
Declarative Memory
A broad class of memories, both semantic and episodic, that can typically be verbalized (declared) or explicitly communicated in some way
Directed Forgetting
Occurs when we intentionally try to suppress memory
Electroconvulsive Shock
A brief pulse of electricity that is passed through the brain and can severely disrupt newly formed memories
Encoding Specificity Effect
States that retrieval is more likely to be successful if the conditions at recall are similar to those that occurred at encoding
Episodic Memory
Memory for personal experience of specific autobiographical events; it includes information about the spatial and temporal contexts in which the event occurred
Explicit Memory
A category of memory that includes semantic and episodic memory and that consists of memories of which the person is aware
False Memory
Memory for events that never actually happened
A fiber bundle that connects subcortical structures, including the basal forebrain, to the hippocampus
Free Recall
A memory test that involves simply generating requested information from memory
Frontal Cortex
The regions of the cortex that lie within the frontal lobes
Functional Amnesia
A sudden, massive retrograde memory loss that seems to result from psychological causes rather than physical causes
Complex brain structure embedded in the temporal lobe; important in memory storage
Implicit Memory
Memory that occurs without the learner’s awareness
Reduction in the strength of a memory due to the overlap with the content of other memories
Levels-of-Processing Effect
The finding that, in general, deeper processing (such as thinking about the semantic meaning of a word) leads to a better recall of the information than shallow processing (such as thinking about the spelling or pronunciation of a word)
Medial Temporal Lobes
The medial (or inner) surface of the temporal lobe that contains the hippocampus, the amygdala, and the other structures important for memory
Knowledge of, and ability to think about, our own memories, including both feeling of knowing and judgement of learning
Multiple Trace Theory
When an event is experienced, it can be stored as an episodic memory by an ensemble of neurons in the hippocampus and neocortex
Non-REM Sleep
A category of sleep that includes both light sleep and slow wave sleep (SWS)
Nondeclarative Memory
A broad class of memory that includes skill memory and other types of learning that do not fall under either the episodic or semantic memory categories and that are not always consciously accessible or easy to verbalize
Proactive Interference
Disruption of new learning by previously stored information
Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep
A phase of sleep in which the eyes move rapidly under closed lids
A memory test that involves picking out (or recognizing) a studied item from a set of objects
Each time an old (presumably consolidated) memory is recalled or reactivated, it may become vulnerable again
Retroactive Interference
Disruption of old information by more recent learning
Retrograde Amnesia
Loss of memories for events that occurred before the injury
Ribot Gradient
A pattern typically followed with retrograde amnesia, in which it is worse for events that occurred shortly before the injury than for events that occurred in the distant past
Semantic Memory
Memory for facts or general knowledge about the world, including general personal information
Sensory Cortex
Areas of the cerebral cortex involved in processing sensory information such as sight and sound
Slow-Wave Sleep (SWS)
A phase of sleep characterized by large, slow oscillations in the brain that are highly synchronized over wide brain areas
Source Monitoring Error
Occur when we remember information but are mistaken about the specific episode that is the source of that memory
Standard Consolidation Theory
Holds that the hippocampus and related medial temporal lobe structures are required for the initial storage and retrieval of an episodic memory but that their contribution diminishes over time until the cortex can retrieve the memory without hippocampal help
Transfer-Appropriate Processing Effect
States that memory will be best when the way in which information is processed at encoding matches the way it is processed at retrieval
Transient Global Amnesia (TGA)
Transient, or temporary, disruption memory not due to known causes such as head injury or epilepsy
Paul Fitts
Proposed that skill learning usually progresses through 3 stages (Cognitive, Associative, Autonomous)
Associative Stage
The second stage of Fitts’s model of skill learning, when glands begin to use stereotyped actions in performing a skill and rely less on actively recalled memories of rules
Autonomous Stage
The third stage in Fitts’s model of skill learning, when a skill or subcomponents of the skill become motor programs
Basal Ganglia
A collection of ganglia that lie at the base of the forebrain
Closed Skill
A skill that involves performing predefined movements that ideally, never vary
Cognitive Skill
A skill that requires problem solving or the application of strategies
Cognitive Stage
The first stage in Fitts’s model of skill learning, when an individual must actively think to encode and perform a skill
Constant Practice
Practice involving a constrained set of materials and skills
Deep Brain Stimulation
Has become the most effective neurosurgical technique for treating Parkinson’s, but scientists are still not sure why it works
A person who performs a skill better than most
Identical Elements Theory
The transfer of learned abilities to novel situations depends on the number of elements in the new situation that are identical to those in the situation in which the skills were encoded
Implicit Learning
Learning that happens accidentally, without awareness of what has been learned
Knowledge of Results
Feedback about performance; critical to the effectiveness of practice
Learning Set Formation
Acquiring the about to learn novel tasks rapidly based on frequent experiences with similar tasks
Massed Practice
Concentrated, continuous practice of a skill
Mirror Reading
An experimental task that requires individuals to read mirror-reversed text
Mirror Tracing
An experimental task that requires individuals to trace drawings by watching a mirror image of their hand and of the figure to be traced with the actual hand and figure concealed
Motor Program
Perceptual-motor skills that an organism can perform with minimal attention
Motor Prosthesis
Electromechanical devices that are being developed to help people recover lost abilities to learn and perform perceptual- motor skills
Open Skill
Skill in which movements are made on the basis of predictions about changing demands of the environment
Parkinson's Disease
A nervous system disease involving disruptions in the normal functions of the basal ganglia and progressive deterioration of motor control
Perceptual-Motor Skills
Learned movement patterns guided by sensory inputs
Power Law of Practice
A law stating that the degree to which each new practice session improves performance diminishes after a certain point, such that greater numbers of sessions are needed too further improve the skill
Rotary Pursuit Task
Frequently used in lab studies of perceptual motor skill learning
Serial Reaction Time Task
In which participants learn to press one of four keys as soon as a visual cue indicates which key to press
An ability that can improve over time through practice
Skill Decay
Loss of a skill through non-use
Spaced Practice
Practice of a skill that us spread out over several sessions
A person’s genetically endowed ability to perform a skill better than most
Transfer of Training
Skills that seem to transfer to novel situations
Transfer Specificity
The restricted applicability of some learned skills to specific situations
Variable Practice
Practice involving the performance of skills in a wide variety of contexts
Central Executive
Responsible for updating work memory by receiving & evaluating sensory information, moving items into & retrieving them from long-term memory, and deciding which memories are needed for which tasks
Cognitive Control
The manipulation and application of working memory for planning, task switching, attention paying, stimulus selection, and the inhibition of inappropriate reflexive behaviors; also known as executive control or executive function
Delayed Nonmatch-to-Sample (DNMS) Task
Another test of visual memory that involves remembering some object seen at the trial’s start
A neuromodulator that alters neuron-to-neuron communication
Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC)
Supports higher-order executive-control functions such as monitoring and manipulating of stored information thus sign the job of Baddeley’s central executive
Dysexecutive Syndrome
A disrupted ability to think and plan
Long-Term Memory
Permanent or near- permanent storage of memory that lasts beyond a period of conscious attention
Failing to learn a new rule and instead persisting using an old rule despite repeated feedback indicating that the old rule is no longer correct
Phonological Loop
The component of Baddeley’s model of working memory that maintains auditory memories by internal (subvocal) speech rehearsal
Prefrontal Cortex (PFC)
The most anterior (fathers forward) section of the frontal lobes
Sensory Memory
Brief, transient sensations of what you have just perceived when you have seen, heard, touched, smelled, or tasted something
Short-Term Memory
A temporary memory that is maintained through active rehearsal
Transient Memory
Nonpermanent memory that lasts seconds or minutes; the Atkinson- Shiffrin model describes 2 types: sensory and short-term memory
Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex (VLPFC)
Supports encoding and retrieval of information (including rehearsal for maintenance), performing as the visuospatial sketchpad and phonological loop proposed by Baddeley
Visual Sensory Memory
The temporary storage in sensory memory for information perceived by your visual system
Visuospatial Sketchpad
The component of Baddeley’s model of working memory that holds visual and spatial images for manipulation
Word-Length Effect
The tendency for a person to remember fewer words from a list as the length of the words decreases
Working Memory
The active and temporary representation of information that is maintained for the short term, available for manipulation