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Medial temporal lobes

Refer to the inner surfaces of the temporal lobes that contain the

b) entorhinal cortex
c) perirhinal cortex
d) parahippocampal cortex
e) amygdala


Episodic memory

Refers to a memory for a specific event, that includes its spatial + temporal info

ex.: first day of school

--> "what we REMEMBER"
--> Hippocampus activity is essential


Semantic memory

Refers to a memory for facts, general + personal knowledge about the world

ex.: own name, favorite food

--> "what we KNOW"
--> survives hippocampal damage


What do episodic + semantic memories have in common ?

1. Can be COMMUNICATED flexibly
--> formats may be different from the way they were acquired

2. Consciously ACCESIBLE
--> knowing info is there, ready to be used


In which way are episodic + semantic memories different ?

1. EM is tagged with a spatial + temporal context, SM not necessarily

2. EM has to experienced personally, SM can also be general info

3. EM is learned in a single exposure, SM can also be strengthened by repeated exposure

4. EM concerns specific events, SM concerns factual info


Declarative memory

Reflects the fact that it is easy to verbalize (declare) your knowledge

--> broader term for semantic + episodic memory


Non-declarative memory/
Procedural memory (How)

Shown by performance rather than conscious recollection

a) skill learning
b) classical + operant conditioning
c) priming
d) non associative learning

--> not always consciously accessible or easy to verbalize

ex.: riding a bike


Explicit memory

Knowing that you have information that is accessible and can thus be used when needed

--> includes declarative memory


Implicit memory

Memory that occurs without the learners awareness

--> includes non-declarative memory


What are the three possible explanations on which memory developed first ?
(Episodic or semantic)

1. One has to have a certain amount of SM before EM can built on this framework

ex.: Have to know what a prom is before knowing that you went to a prom

2. SM represents info we have encountered repeatedly from EM

3. EM + SM are fundamentally interdependent
--> each can affect the other


Can nonhumans have episodic + semantic memory ?

1. The experiment of the "radial arm maze" with rats showed that they were able to remember where the food was and use this info flexibly

Conclusion: semantic memory

2. The gorilla was able to remember which specific type of fruit he ate, who gave it to him + when it happened

Conclusion: "episodic-like" memory


Why is the term "episodic-like" memory used for nonhumans ?

It acknowledges that we cannot directly ask nonverbal animals about their subjective sense of self or their ability to perform "mental time travel"


What are the 3 basic principles that govern how successfully a new EM or SM is encoded/stored in memory ?

1. Mere repeated exposure to info doesn't guarantee memory

2. New info is easier to remember if you can relate it to things you already know

3. Deeper processing at encoding improves recognition later


Levels-of-processing effect

The more deeply you process new info during encoding, the more likely you are to remember the info later

--> fMRI shows that brains are much more active during deep-processing than superficial processing


Tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon

Inability to retrieve stored info, where info is temporarily inaccessible

--> one usually succeeds in retrieving info when turning ones attention elsewhere


Transfer-appropriate processing effect

Retrieval is more likely to be successful if the retrieval conditions are similar to encoding conditions

ex.: objects presented as words, are tested as words not for ex. pictures


Free recall

Memory task in which one is asked an open-ended question, and one is required to supply the answer from memory


Cued recall

Memory task in which one is given some kind of clue to the correct answer

ex.: what is the latin word for arch: F___



Memory task in which one has to pick out the correct answer from list of possible options

--> multiple choice


Desirable difficulties phenomenon

The idea that "difficult" learning conditions, meaning the ones that challenge your ability to recall, promote better memory of the info being recalled


Consolidation period

Most forgetting occurs in the first few hours or days after learning

--> info that survives the critical first few days might last in memory indefinitely


Directed forgetting

Occurs when info is forgotten on demand

--> suggest that we may have more power over what we remember than we think


The role of "Interference" on LTM

When 2 memories overlap in content, the strength of either or both memories may be reduced


Proactive interference

Old info can disrupt new learning

--> breaking habits

ex.: Phase of mistakenly using the old password when it was renewed


Retroactive Interference

New info can disrupt old learning

ex.: Inability to remember old password, when having mastered to remember new one


Source monitoring error

Remembering information but being mistaken about the specific episode, which is the source of that memory

--> semantic content is preserved, episodic content distorted

ex.: thinking one has built a nice sentence by oneself when indeed, one was just retrieving a sentence previously seen in a book from memory (unintentional plagiarism)


Diese-Roediger-McDermott Paradigm

People are asked to learn lists of words, where the words all share a particular implicit theme.

The participants correctly identify studied words + reject unrelated words

--> BUT: clim to recognize the theme word even though it wasn't on list


What might explain the DSM paradigm ?

Source monitoring

1. People encode the meaning of the words (theme) and form a memory by thinking about it

2. Then they mistakenly remember having encountered the word on the list


False memory

Memory of events that never actually happened

--> likely to occur when one is prompted to imagine details, which is then falsely remembered as the truth


Why is the loss of a single brain cell NOT dramatic for the maintenance of memory ?

We have networks of neurons that respond primarily to info representing simple, familiar categories

--> this way all memories would only be lost if the whole network would be affected