Memory

Encoding

How To Get Fired

A drunken employee talks with friends about their boss at a holiday party. She declares that their boss is cheap, likes cheap women, and criticizes the cheap champagne glasses. Their boss overhears his name and comes over to the group. How did Jim hear his employee’s rant even though he was engaged in another conversation?

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Test Your Awareness: Do the Test

This advertisement for bicycle safety asks us to count the number of passes the white team makes. As it turns out, while we’re counting, we miss something pretty obvious going on right in the middle of the screen. What is selective attention, and how is this a good example of it?

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How the Body Works: Selective Attention

The physiological explanation for the cocktail phenomenon is given by a narrator and corresponding figure. A diagram includes red particles, which represent sound information. All the particles (sound) enter the ear, but some sounds do not make it past the filter. Have you recently been in a situation that required selective attention? How does selective attention operate according to the filter theory?

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How To Improve Your Memory

An anchor interviews Angela Chan on one way to improve memory, improve the depth of processing. Chan gives an example of elaboration and the bizarreness effect. She parked in E6, and to remember it she created an image of an elephant with six appendages. Chan explains the cognitive background that accounts for the effects. Why did Dr. Chan decide to recall her parking section by thinking of an elephant? Couldn’t she just have repeated E6 over and over? Is her strategy more effective?

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Hit Me: Repeat to Remember

A man plays blackjack with a woman. He eventually gets her phone number and the order to call her. The man attempts to repeat her phone number, but other numbers in the background distract him. A voiceover discusses the limits to short term memory, and a rule: “repeat to remember.” Author John Medina states that if you repeat something within thirty seconds that your brain will hold on to that information for 1-2 hours. Do you support his view? Why or why not? What empirical evidence would convince you of the “repeat to remember” rule?

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Storage

Sensory Memory

This video is a short demonstration meant to test your sensory memory. Were you able to see the differences in the photos?

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Bigger Memory

This video presents a study testing people’s visual memory. Researchers were surprised by just how much detail people were able to retain after viewing thousands of images for only three seconds each. What type of memory is being used by the volunteers? Would the instructions volunteers are given at the start make a difference as to what type of memory is being used?

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Iconic Memory for Android

This short clip demonstrates a game called “Iconic Memory” in which several white circles are revealed and then hidden, and the player must remember where those circles were placed on the screen. Why is this game called “Iconic Memory”? Do you think the name is appropriate? Why or why not?

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Retrieval

The Bunny Effect

In this clip a researcher describes her experiment in getting participants to recall a memory that never actually happened. How would you set up a similar experiment? What would you be testing for?

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Stephen Wiltshire Draws Rome from Memory

Stephen Wiltshire, a man with autism, has an extraordinary savant ability. He can fly over a major city and then redraw the city perfectly from memory. Why might the fact that Stephen has autism contribute to his abilities?

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Tip of the Tongue Learning

A reporter asks people on campus a question that arouses the tip of the tongue state. Researcher Karen Humphries describes some of her laboratory work on tip of the tongue states. Her data suggest that people look for the answer rather than struggling in the tip of the tongue state. What does the tip of the tongue phenomenon tell us about storage and retrieval?

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Child Abuse, False Memories

This news clip discusses the validity (or lack there of) of repressed memories. Several stories are told of people who “remembered” horrific events that turned out not to be true. What are some of the arguments made as to why these memories are unreliable? Why would “recovering” these memories during hypnosis affect their reliability?

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Psych Rap

Psychology students Paul, Alex, and Mike created a music video of their rap song which contains psychological topics and concepts. Their review of the year’s content included research methods, electroshock therapy, brain structures, sleep, cognition, learning, clinical, and social psychology. The song does not contain much detail on the topics, but breadth. How does a rhyme or rap help students remember information?

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Forgetting

The Man With the 30-Second Memory

The man featured in this video has one of the worst cases of amnesia ever documented. The only memories he retains are who his wife is, and how to play the piano. The cause of the problem is not revealed – what are the four common causes of amnesia, and what would you speculate is the cause for this man?

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Memento Movie Trailer

Memento is a movie about a man who has an accident and can no longer form lasting memories. What effect does the structure of the movie, which is shown “in reverse,” have on the “memory” of the audience?

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The Brain Gym

Recent studies show that certain mental activities may delay or prevent memory loss later in life. A new program being offered at some senior centers is taking that news to heart. This training is a combination of learning new techniques to deal with memory loss, as well as attempting to reverse some of that loss. Which part of the training do you think is more effective?

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Erasing Memory

This is not a plot device in the latest thriller, it's real - scientists have shown that injecting an experimental drug into the brain can completely erase long-term memory in animals. Obviously there are some serious ethical issues to deal with before such a drug could be used on humans, but what are some of the potential benefits?

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Finding Nemo – Short Term Memory Loss

This scene from Finding Nemo demonstrates Dory’s short-term memory loss. How does short-term memory function differently from sensory memory or long-term memory? Do you think Dory’s condition is a family trait, as she claims, or might there be another explanation for it?

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Physiology of Memory

Boosting Students' Brain Power With “Brain Gym”

This news clip explains a technique called “Brain Gym,” that is designed to help students succeed in school. The program claims to help de-stress students, and also promote the building of neurons through movement. Do you believe that this is a helpful technique? If so, why do you think it works? If not, why not?

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Cuddle Hormone Enhanced

The so-called "cuddle hormone", oxytocin, is known to increase generosity and trust. Now a new study shows it can improve on a person’s ability to remember facial features. Why might this hormone have evolved in this way? What would be the advantage of remembering faces over other objects?

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Stress and Memory

Stress and Memory

This experiment tests memory in mice, with and without the presence of stress. The researcher monitored that actions of the hippocampus in times of stress, and found they were different than times without stress. What were the differences? What were the similarities?

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9/11 Flashbulb Memories

Closeness counts when it comes to how strong our memories are. While many people remember where they were when they heard the news of attacks on the World Trade Center, brain researchers say those who were close to the scene formed memories that still provoke the brain's response to danger. What sort of stimuli might account for the different reactions of those who were close to the event?

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Working Memory and Pressure

Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Soledad O’Brien of CNN discuss Sian Beilock’s research on intelligence and choking. When pressure, time demands, peers, and monetary rewards were added to a task, participants with a high working memory capacity did 10% worse than when they completed the task under no pressure. Participants with a lower working memory capacity received the same score regardless of pressure. Explain the working memory capacity trade-off under high pressure. Who performs better, people with high working memory or low working memory?

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