Human memory is like a video camera, recording the events we see and hear.
Understand how memories do and don't reflect experiences.
There are different types of long-term memory.
We have memories of many things, from our 16th birthday party, to how to ride a bike, to the shape of a pyramid.
Most of the time, our memories work.
With a little luck, you'll be able to remember some of what you read in this chapter, and that's a good thing.
Our memories fail us when we least expect it.
Some of our memories are good and some are not.
This chapter is the story of the paradoxes.
They change a lot when our Mormons serve us well.
Research shows that our memories are more than we think.
Most of us can recite the lyrics to hundreds of songs when we were in school.
Consider a study in which college students viewed 2,560 photographs of objects.
The students were shown each original photograph with a new one.
The students picked out the original photographs 93 percent of the time.
They compared participants who'd never seen the drawings to those who'd seen them.
The memories of a small group of people with the condition are amazing.
A survey of the general public revealed that 64 percent of them agreed with the statement, and about the same percentage of law enforcement officers did the same.
38 percent of respondents said that once a memory is formed, it never changes.
Most therapists believe that everything we learn is stored in the mind.
Research shows that memories can be spotty, with errors, and change over time.
There are some impressive exceptions.
Peek's IQ was below average.
Peek has memorised about 12,000 books word for word, the ZIP codes of every town in the United States, and the number of every highway connecting every city in the United States.
He would give you the correct day of the week in a matter of seconds if you gave him any past or future dates.
Kim was nicknamed "Kim-puter" by researchers who studied his memory feats.
It's not the only group with remarkable memory capacities.
Rajan Mahadevan is a lecturer in the psychology department of the University of Tennessee.
Intelligence is what he said when he said them.
We will find out later in the chapter.
There is a wonderful illustration of the paradoxes of memory provided by Rajan.
Despite finding pi to be a piece of cake, he kept forgetting the location of the men's restroom at the University of Minnesota psychology department even though it was just down the hall from where he'd been tested repeatedly.
A woman in her 40s, known only by the initials A. J., has an astounding memory that has even seasoned psychological researchers shaking their heads in disbelief.
She remembers everything she's ever experienced, which is unusual.
She can report exactly what she was doing on March 17, 1989, when she was given a date, such as taking a test, eating dinner with a friend, or traveling to a new city.
The claims here have been confirmed by research.
She's almost always right according to scientists.
She remembers the day of the week.
A team of investigators asked A. J. to remember the dates of Easter over the past 24 years.
She regards her memory as a curse and a blessing.
Recent research shows that subtle differences in Rajan's feats demonstrate the uppermost end of human memory.
Our sense of identity is also defined by our memories.
She says life is like a movie in her mind that never stops.
Her life and interactions with friends are vivid.
Her personality has been shaped by her memory.
There are some exceedingly rare cases.
Many of us have good memories in one or two narrow areas.
We learned from the video that memory can be prone to error.
Our memories often fool us and fail us, that's the point of these two demonstrations.
The central theme of this chapter is that our memories are more damaged than our reproductive ones.
Our best hunches about what really happened are what we patching together our often-fuzzy recollections with.
We rarely reproduce precise replicas of our past experiences when we recall them.
We should be skeptical of the claims that certain vivid memories are copies of past events.
It's easy to show that our memories are not always the same.
After reading this sentence, close your eyes and picture your most recent walk along a beach, lake, or pond.
People report this visual perspective when they picture themselves taking a picture.
If that is the case, there is compelling evidence that ries are reconstructive.
Asians are more likely to see themselves at a distance than Europeans.
Findings show that members of Asian cultures are more likely than members of Western cultures to adopt others' perspectives.
Our cultural background and hunches are likely to affect our memories.
To understand the paradoxes of memory, we need to figure out how some of our experiences make it into our memories.
Let's take a tour of the factory assembly line inside our heads.
We've been talking about memory as though it's Figure 7.2 The Three-Memory Model.
There aren't always clear-cut distinctions between the three memory systems.
The model divides memory into sensory and short-term models.
We can think of these three systems as different from long-term memory and moved into short-term tory workers along an assembly line.
Human perception of the world is a proposed system and its control processes.
Short-term memory can hold on to information longer than sensory memory can.
You'll probably remember your first kiss and high school graduation for a long time, perhaps until the last day of your life.
If you're near a television set, turn it on for 10 seconds or so and then watch the first 10 seconds of a video.
You almost certainly experienced a steady stream of visual information regardless of what program or video you were watching.
Television programs and movies have a series of disconnected frames, each separated by an extremely brief period of darkness.
Your brain sees these frames as a seamless whole because it continues to detect each frame for an extremely brief period of time after it disappears.
Short-term memory is when sensory memory briefly maintains our perception in a "buffer" area before passing them on to the next memory system.
Our brains get a bit of extra time to process incoming sensations because of sensory memory.
It allows us to see the world as a continuous stream of events after a lightning strike.
Each sense, including vision, hearing, touch, taste, and smell, is one second.
It takes about a second for memories to last, and then they are gone forever.
He showed participants a display of 12 letters, with 4 letters in three rows, as shown in Figure 7.3.
Most participants could only remember four or five letters.
Different people remembered different letters.
The display of 12 letters suggested to Sperling that all of them had an equal chance of being recalled.
This finding was odd.
Immediately after he flashed the 12 letters, he presented a tone to indicate which of the three rows to report.
Then he instructed.
He found the source when he used this technique.
Information can be found in brief visual presentations.
Sperling's hunch was that participants had access to all 12 letters in their memories.
The general and applied section of Sperling General and Applied.
We can't access all the information because our memories fade so quickly.
Sperling's participants were able to take in all of the information but were only able to remember a few letters.
Some psychologists believe that eidetic memory is related to a long persistence of an image.
Minor errors, such as information that wasn't in the original visual stimuli, can be found in some memories.
People with eidetic memories are likely to have excellent recollections.
Hearing and sensory memory are related.
"Sensory Figure 7.4 Alice with Cheshire Cat" is the last sentence.
The drawing from Lewis Carroll's Alice's echo is a soft example of how memory psychologists can use variations to replay words for a short time.
You can find out if you have eidetic memories by looking at the drawing for no longer allowing you to take notes on your psychology professor's most recent sentence.
For long periods of time, few ries persist.
Information moves memory when it gets past our sensory buffer.
The second factory worker in our memory assembly line is short-term memory.
Shortterm memory is the workspace where construction happens if sensory memory is what feeds raw materials into the assembly line.
After construction is over, we either move the product into the warehouse for long-term storage or scrap it.
A husband and wife team decided to find out in the late 1950s.
Lloyd and Margaret asked participants to recall the three-letter strings that they were presented with.
In some cases, they made participants wait 3 seconds before recalling the letters; in other cases, they made them wait up to 18 seconds.
They asked participants to count backwards while they were waiting.
Many psychologists were surprised by the results.
The duration of short-term memory is probably less than 20 seconds.
Some researchers think it's even shorter than that, because some participants in the study may have been able to silently rehearse the letters.
The duration of short-term memory is much shorter than that.
Less is left if we wait longer.
Important alternative memories get in the way of each other.
Radio explanations for the findings signals are very similar to our memories.
There is evidence for both decay and interference.
Old memories fade away as we create new ones.
There is more evidence for the role of interference in memory loss.
After seeing each list, participants were given a target digit to focus on and then asked which digit came after it.
To figure out which of them explanations influenced the findings, have important alternative variables.
They told participants not to rehearse the digit but to listen to it carefully.
When researchers read the list slowly, participants' performance should become worse because more time had passed between digits.
If interference was the main culprit, participants' performances should become worse if the target digit appeared later rather than earlier in the list.
interference is the main contributor to getting.
The target digit is more important than the speed of presentation in causing participants to forget.
Some researchers believe that interference and decay play a role in short-term memory loss.
There are two different kinds of interference that her tennis swings would initially get in the way of, so the odds are high that she will attempt racquetball.
It will take her a while to learn how to play tennis.
If you've learned one language, say Spanish, and then later learned a somewhat similar language, perhaps Italian, you're likely to make mistakes that you've never made before.
When the old and new stimuli are similar, both retroactive and proactive interference are more likely to interfere with acquisition of new.
Learning a new language doesn't affect our ability to cook spaghetti.
Give an example of a time when you couldn't remember or do something correctly because of retroactive interference.
When proactive interference prevented you from doing something correctly, describe a time.
The shortterm memory doesn't last very long.
Unless we make an extra-special effort to retain it, the memory is gone in twenty seconds or less.
At a rate of one number per second, try to read each of the following rows of numbers.
When you're done with each row, close your eyes and write down what you remember.
If you breezed through three digits, started to find four digits a bit tricky, and maxed out at somewhere between five and nine digits, odds are you did it.
If you got the 10-digit list right, you've earned the right to call yourself a memory superstar.
The average digit span of most adults is between five and nine digits.
It's almost certainly not a coincidence that telephone numbers in North America are seven digits long, not counting the area code, because it's hard to retain more than seven plus or minus two pieces of information in our short-term memory.
The true Magic Number is as low as three or four according to some psychologists.
It's clear that the capacity of short-term memory is limited.
Wait a few seconds and repeat the sentence back to yourself, saying that Harry Potter's white owl Hedwig flew off into the dark and stormy night.
The odds are very high that you were.
13 words is more than the Magic Number.
For beginners, look at the following string of 15 letters for a few seconds.
They don't do any better than beginners at recalling unrealistic chess positions.
You're probably right around the Magic from chunking.
Only a subset of the letters are listed.
Try this 15-letter string.
It's the same 15 letters, but the first group had more meaningful abbreviations.
The CIA, USA, FBI, NBC, and JFK are all in one group of three letters.
You reduced the number of items you had to remember from 15 to 5.
If you combine the CIA and FBI into one chunk, you could get this number down to less than five.
This is an amazing feat.
S. F. was able to get his digit span memory up to 78 digits using chunking after two years of training.
S. F., who was a runner, memorised enormous numbers of world record times for track events and used them to chunk numbers into bigger units.
He only had his chunking ability.
His memory span for letters was six, well within the range of the Magic Number achieved by the rest of us memory slackers.
Using elaborative rehearsal helps us remember.
He was able to memorize enormous numbers of area codes and dates of famous historical events.
Mental other meaningful numbers can be found within the list of pi digits.
Rehearsal is a strategy that extends the duration of information in short-term memory.
jugglers keep a bunch of bowling pins alive by tossing them back into the air, just as we keep the information "alive" in our short-term memories.
The bowling pins come crashing to the ground if they pause for a second to scratch their nose.
We'll lose material from our short-term memory if we stop rehearsing and shift our attention.
There are two types of rehearsals.
We keep the information in our short-term memory.
We'll forget the number if someone interrupt us while we're rehearsing.
If we used elaborative rehearsal, we would try to link the words in each pair in a meaningful way.
If we picture depth of transforming information, they interacting in some fashion, we are more likely to remember the two stimuli.
We can chunk them into a single integrated stimulus by doing that.
Maintenance rehearsal works better than laborative rehearsal.
A widely held misconception about memory is that it is the best way to retain information.
There's a take- home lesson that we should watch when it comes to our study habits.
The better we remember information, the more we process it.
The model identifies three levels of processing of verbal information.
The most shallow is visual processing.
All people create their own meaning of life.
You could try to focus on the capital letters in the sentence.
You'd repeat the sentence many times until it became boring.
You might explain how you've tried to create your own meaning of life and how it has been helpful to you.
More enduring long-term memories can be produced by deeper levels of processing.
Proponents of the levels-of-processing model are equating "depth" with how well participants remember later.
There may be some truth to this criticism.
The more meaning we can give to aStimulus, the more likely we are to recall it in the long term.
Over our lifetimes, we've acquired facts, experiences, and skills.
Long-term memory is different from short-term memory in several important ways.
The capacity of long-term memory is much larger than that of short-term mem experiences and skills ory.
No one knows for sure.
Accept the compliment if it appears to be permanent.
Information in long-term memory lasts for years, even decades, and sometimes permanently, even after only 20 seconds.
Consider the work of psychologist Harry Bahrick, who studied individuals' memory for long-term retention.
After about two years, the decline is almost 50 years old.
The types of mistakes we make in long-term memory are different from the ones we make in short-term memory.
We often forget a large amount of items, such as a grocery list or a schedule of events, when we try to remember them.
It is possible for psychologists to predict which items Spanish speakers learning English will forget and which they will remember.
To demonstrate this point, read the list of 20 words, either to yourself or aloud.
First, read the left column, then the middle column, and finally the right column.
Take a few minutes to remember as many of these words as you can, in any order you'd like.
Most researchers agree that recency effects reflect the operation of a different end of a list.
You were likely to recall the last few words because they were in your short-term memory.
There's good evidence that recency effects on people's ability to recall the earlier words in the list because you had more chances to rehearse them silently.
The words were more likely to be transferred from short-term memory to long-term memory.
The operation of long-term memory seems to be reflected by the primacy effect.
Some psychologists argue that there are more than one memory system.
They claim that longterm memory is more than one system.
Try to answer the following four questions.
Barack Obama was defeated in the 2012 U.S. presidential election by a Republican.
There is a curve for U.S. presidents.
There is a curve for U.S. presidents.
If given the chance to name as many presidents as they can, most people list early presidents, like Washington, Jefferson, and Adams, and recent presidents, like Clinton, Bush, and Obama more than middle presidents, with good old Abe Lincoln being a striking exception.
The same effect can be applied to Canadian prime ministers.
A. J., who we discussed at the beginning of the chapter, has remarkably accurate memories.
There is good evidence that the two types of memory are located in different parts of the brain.
The left frontal cortex is activated more by semantic memory than the right frontal cortex.
Common neural pathways can bring together memories regardless of their content.
We have a conscious experience of accessing this information when we recall it.
Implicit memories don't require conscious effort on our part.
We can't tell if it's a lock or a key because we have to reenact it in our heads or stand in front of the door.
When Damasio asks David which of these people memories he doesn't want to remember, he points to those who have been kind to him, or who have been ignorant of who they are.
David has no recollection of who helped him, but his implicit memory is still intact.
There are several different types of implicit memory.
We rely on motor skills and habits when we ride a bicycle or open a soda can.
In other words, procedural memory is "know how" memory.
Our procedural and semantic memories are not always the same.
You will draw a blank if you are like most people.
You can only remember their location by using your fingers to type imaginary letters in the air.