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Ψ  Remembering & Forgetting
- Overview -

Organization of Memories

     Network theory of memory organization - In the network model, knowledge is stored in "a network of interrelated propositions." Networks are simple "node-link" structures which can be related in complex ways. You might think of a network as a collection of contents ("propositions") which are interconnected in very specific ways that reveal important relationships. Information is filed in interconnected nodes or categories.

     Forgetting Curves - Hermann Ebbinghaus found that the familiar & interesting are remembered 60% longer than nonsense syllables.

Four reasons for forgetting:

1. Repression (Freud)
2. Retrieval cues (poor)
3. Amnesia - the result of brain injury, disease, or trauma
4. Interference - Most forgetting occurs because of interference, similar events, or experiences make it difficult for us to retrieve the information for which we are searching.
     hi Proactive interference - old info blocks retrieval of new info.
     hi Retroactive interference - new info blocks retrieval of old info.

     Tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon - Sometimes our inability to retrieve long-term memories is only temporary. If you have ever experienced the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon then you have experienced this blocking. The shallow encoding of information leads to the forgetting of information and tip-of-the-tongue experiences.

     State-dependent learning - if you learned it when you where sad it is recalled best when you are sad.

hi  Location of memories in the brain:

     Cortex: short-term memories - surface activity
        Cortex: long-term memories - dispersed throughout
            Amygdala: adds emotional associations
                Hippocampus: transfers data into long-term memory

LTP - The Long-Term Potentiation process which changes the structure of the neuron through repetition is considered by many neuroscientists to be the most likely basis for learning & memory.


False memories can be implanted.

Eyewitnesses can be misled.

Questions can be worded in such a way as to change answers.

Source misattribution is a memory error that occurs when the participant cannot distinguish whether the original event or some later event was the true source of the information.

The cognitive interview technique works best.

General Psychology
  Robert C. Gates