Trace Decay

Topics: Theory, Scientific method, Memory processes Pages: 3 (817 words) Published: February 5, 2013
Describing Trace Decay Theory of Forgetting
* Trace decay theory can be applied to explain forgetting from both STM and LTM. *  It is based on the idea that information creates a neurological trace in the brain, known as an engram, when it is encoded. This means a change has occurred in the structure of the brain. * Hebb (1949) proposed that whilst learning is first taking place, the engram is very fragile and liable to disruption. It grows stronger and less likely to be destroyed the more learning (rehearsal) takes place. * Without rehearsal or practice, this engram fades over time because it is not being strengthened. Forgetting therefore occurs because the information is not physically available for retrieval. * Forgetting occurs from STM due to the stores limited duration if rehearsal does not take place (it will fade after thirty seconds). How do we evaluate theories /explanations?

* “Evaluate” = AO2
* “Evaluate” = what are the strengths (√) and limitations (X) of the theory/explanation? What do I include in the strengths and limitations?
√ Evidence supporting the theory / explanation and why it supports it X Evidence refuting the theory / explanation and why it refutes it * Is the theory / explanation scientific?
* Is the theory a complete explanation of the behaviour (√) or are there things that it cannot account for (X)? * Does the theory have practical applications? (√)
* Alternative (better) explanations (X)?
* Comparisons with other theories / explanations.
13a) - The trace decay theory, revolves around the idea that a memory creates a neurological trace known as an engram in our brain, and it can be applied to explain forgetting from both STM and LTM. The less you rehearse the more chance of forgetting it and this neurological trace decaying. The engram also fades over time if it is not rehearsed, as it is not being strengthened. Forgetting therefore occurs because the information is not...
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