Section 1 Models of Memory
Memory= The process by which we retain information about events that have happened in the past. This includes fleeting memories (Short term) as well as memories that last for longer (Long term). Research has identified a number of key differences between short term memory (STM) and long term memory (LTM) in terms of the way these types of memory work. Model (of memory) =a theory/representation of how the memory system operates, the various parts that make up the memory system and how the parts work together.
The Multi-Store Model (Atkinson and Shiffrin)
This is the most well known and influential model of memory put forward in 1968. They proposed that human memory involved: *
A flow of information through an information processing system *
A system divided into 3 storage components i.e. Sensory Memory (SM), Short-term Memory (STM) and Long-term Memory (LTM) *
Information passing from one stage to another in a fixed sequence (The Sensory memory retains information from the senses (sound, vision etc) and if that is paid attention to it passes to the STM and if rehearsed it goes to the LTM) *
Constraints (/restrictions) at each storage system in terms of capacity (size-how much each stage can hold), duration (length of time the memory stays in each stage), and coding (the way the information is stored at each stage e.g. visual images or sound).
According to Atkinson and Shiffrin:
Information enters the memory system from the environment and first registers on the sensory memory (SM), where it stays for a brief period of time before either decaying (if it’s not attended to) or else passed on to the short term memory (STM) store. 2. Items in STM are usually held as sounds (i.e. auditory encoding, although other types of encoding are possible in STM). 3. The STM has a very small capacity and so the memory traces (engrams) held here are quite fragile. If they’re not rehearsed (repeated) then they’re lose within a few seconds. 4. However if the information is important (e.g. new boyfriend’s phone number) and it’s repeated sufficiently/rehearsed, then the memory is passed on to the long term memory (LTM) store. 5. Once in LTM, information can last a lifetime.
6. However, information can be lost from LTM due to decay (i.e. if we don’t use the information, it will disappear), interference (have many memories competing with each other as we get older, that they get confused), or through brain damage.
3 Limitations (/constraints) on the separate memory stores... * ENCODING=Way that the info is represented/processed in the memory store (e.g. by sound [auditory], meaning [semantic] or image [visual]). * CAPACITY= Amount of information that the memory store can hold at any one time. * DURATION= The length of time the memory store holds information.
3 Important Control Processes –Attention, Rehearsal and Retrieval * Attention-only information that you pay attention to will be passed from SM to STM. * Rehearsal-information is circulated in STM before being passed to LTM. * Retrieval-Extracting (or remembering) information from memory.
Sensory Memory (SM): Information comes into the memory system from the external environment and first registers in the sensory store. This is the store that retains the impressions of information received through the senses (eyes, ears, nose, touch, taste). It’s believed that there’s a separate sensory store for each sense: Iconic store (for visual input), echoic store (auditory input), haptic store (tactile input/touch). It’s been found that SM holds visual info for only a few milliseconds, why is why we can retain a brief visual image of an object even after it disappears (e.g. torch being swung in dark, can see trace of light even after torch switched off). Sensory memory is called the “gatekeeper” since most information perceived by the senses is forgotten. Evidence supporting the...
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