Our memory is where we accumulate learning that we retrieve in the future. The three major questions when learning about memory is:
1. How to get the information into our memory?
2. How to maintain the memory?
3. How to recall the memory?
Those three questions above are essential to this chapter and the answer to number one is encode, which is the process of turning the sensory inputs into memory. The second process is storage, which moves encoded information into a storage in different part of the brain for later uses (remember, memory does not have any particular areas). The last process is retrieval, getting to stored information back out.

Atkinson and Shiffrin’s three stage processing model of memory: according to the model information must pass through two temporary storage before it can be placed in a permanent storage and then retrieved for later.
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Sensory store consists of memory at instances, which will be forgotten as your attention changes. There are two types of memory, which are:
1) Iconic memory: a visual image in sensory storage
2) Echoic memory: auditory image (lasts 3 seconds)

Short Term Memory(STM):
maintains information within 20 seconds.

-we can extend duration of STM by engaging in a process called Maintenance Rehearsal, process of repeatedly thinking about the information.
Serial Position Effect states that you are most likely to remember the first (primary), or the last (recency) in a series.
Elaborative Rehearsal is when you are connecting new information with previously stored associative structures

Long Term Memory
can store information for a very long time, which also means that the memories have been successfully stored and await for retrieval.

a) Procedural memory: memories of skills and how to perform them.
b) Semantic memory: general knowledge of the world
c) Episodic memory: memories of specific events

How we encode:

Automatic processing is the unconscious encoding of incidental information .
Effortfull processing requires your attention for encoding.
visual encoding: the encoding of picture images
acoustic encoding: encoding sound
semantic encoding: encoding of meaning

Encoding imagery

We recall our experiences with mental snapshots
Mnemonic devices: memory aids to remember passages and speeches

· involve acoustic and visual codes

Organizing information for encoding

Chunking: we recall information when we organize it into groups.
_ We might sometimes create acronyms of sentences from the first letters of words to remember.

Storing Memories in the Brain

_We do not store information like a tape recorder.
_Memories do not exist in specific spots of the brain, but scatter all around. A well-known area links to memory is the hippocampus in the limbic system.

Synaptic Changes

_Memories begin as impulses through brain circuits leaving neural traces
Long-term potential: neural firing that provides a neural basis for learning and remembering
-drugs that block LTP interfere with learning
-after long term potential has occurred, passing an electric current through the brain won’t disrupt old memories but you might forget recent experiences

Storing Implicit and Explicit Memories

Explicit memory: with conscious recall (facts and experienced events)
Implicit Memory: without conscious recall (skills, classical and operant conditioning)

as mentioned earlier, is one of the function in the limbic system that recalls memory, helps to process explicit memories for storage. When this area is damaged, there will be disruptions of memory.

Retrieval: Getting Information Out

1. Recall: to remember facts and words without cues
_Cued recall: recall something after a question or hint
_Serial recall: remember a list in order
_Free recall: remember a list in any order
_Paired associates recall: remember part of a pair

2. Recognition: to identify items previously learned
_Relearning: reveal that we remember more than we can recall
_Priming: “memoryless memory” memory without remembering
_Déjà vu: “we think we experienced that before” ex: we see a girl that walks like our friend so we might think that we have seen that person


1. Decay: memories fading over time
2. Interference: obstacle of learning new information because of other information learned before or after new information.
a) Proactive interference: can’t remember new stuff
b) Retroactive interference: can’t remember old stuff
-more forgetting occurs when you’re awake and experienced other things
3. Repression: Psychoanalytic theory (Freud) we repress painful memories

Memory Construction

*Misinformation effect:
incorporating misleading information into one’s memory of an event

Many people misremember and end up saying something that are inaccurate. They misrecalled, for example, the difference between chunky peanut butters and cream ones. .

Discerning True and False Memories

We can’t judge how real a memory is by how persistent it is. The most confident and consistent eyewitnesses are the most persuasive.

Children’s Eyewitness Recall

-90% of studies show that preschoolers were more suggestible than were older children
-Most preschoolers can be induced to report false events
-Another study said that 58% of preschoolers produced false stories

Repressed or Constructed Memories of Abuse?

-Traumatic events are sometimes forgotten or repressed into the unconsciousness as the psychoanalysts believe.
*There are ways to improve our memory, such as:
1) Study repeatedly, only effective if the time is constant and usually between 20-30 minutes at the time.
2) Spend more time rehearsing, but at a constant rate.
3) Make the material personally meaningful
4) Use mnemonic devices to remember an unfamiliar list
5) Refresh your memory by retrieval cues
6) Recall events
7) Minimize interference
8) Test your own knowledge

Video links:

Related chapters:
States of Consciousness
Abnormal Psychology

Outside sources:

Useful images:

Memory tests and games:

Interesting facts: