Chapter Seven: Memory


Chapter Seven Glossary


INTRODUCTION

This interactive glossary contains definitions to the key terms in each chapter. The "text" link will take you to the section of the interactive chapter guide that explores that concept.



anterograde amnesia
The inability to form lasting memories for new events and facts.

childhood amnesia
The inability to remember events and experiences that occurred during the first two or three years of life.
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chunk
A meaningful unit of information; it may be composed of smaller units.
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consolidation
The process by which a long-term memory becomes durable and stable.

cue-dependent forgetting
The inability to retrieve information stored in memory because of insufficient cues for recall.
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decay theory
The theory that information in memory eventually disappears if it is not accessed; it applies more to short-term than to long-term memory.
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declarative memories
Memories of facts, rules, concepts, and events ("knowing that"); they include semantic and episodic memories.
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deep processing
In the encoding of information, the processing of meaning rather than simply the physical or sensory features of a stimulus.
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elaborative rehearsal
Association of new information with already stored knowledge and analysis of the new information to make it memorable.
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encoding
The conversion of information into a form that can be stored in and retrieved from memory.
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episodic memories
Memories of personally experienced events and the contexts in which they occurred.
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explicit memory
Conscious, intentional recollection of an event or of an item of information.
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flashbulb memory
A vivid, detailed recollection of a significant or startling event, or of the circumstances in which a person learned of such an event.
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implicit memory
Unconscious retention in memory, as evidenced by the effect of a previous experience or previously encountered information on current thoughts or actions.
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long-term memory (LTM)
In the three-box model of memory, the memory system involved in the long-term storage of information.
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long-term potentiation
A long-lasting increase in the strength of synaptic responsiveness, thought to be a biological mechanism of long-term memory.

maintenance rehearsal
Rote repetition of material in order to maintain its availability in memory.
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memory
The capacity to retain and retrieve information and the structures that account for this capacity.
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mnemonics
Strategies and tricks for improving memory, such as the use of a verse or a formula.
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motivated forgetting
Forgetting that occurs because of a desire to eliminate awareness of painful, embarrassing, or otherwise unpleasant experiences.
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parallel distributed processing (PDP)
An alternative to the information-processing model of memory, in which knowledge is represented as connections among thousands of interacting processing units, distributed in a vast network and all operating in parallel.
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priming
A method for measuring implicit memory in which a person reads or listens to information and is later tested to see whether the information affects performance on another type of task.
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proactive interference
Forgetting that occurs when previously stored material interferes with the ability to remember similar, more recently learned material.
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procedural memories
Memories for the performance of actions or skills ("knowing how").
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recall
The ability to retrieve and reproduce from memory previously encountered material.
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recognition
The ability to identify previously encountered material.
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relearning method
A method for measuring retention that compares the time required to relearn material with the time used in the initial learning of the material.
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retroactive interference
Forgetting that occurs when recently learned material interferes with the ability to remember similar material stored previously.
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retrograde amnesia
Loss of the ability to remember events or experiences that occurred before some particular point in time.

semantic memories
Memories of general knowledge, including facts, rules, concepts, and propositions.
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sensory memory
A memory system that momentarily preserves extremely accurate images of sensory information.
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sensory register
Subsystems of sensory memory; most memory models assume a separate register for each sensory modality.
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serial-position effect
The tendency for recall of the first and last items on a list to surpass recall of items in the middle of the list.
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short-term memory (STM)
In the three box model of memory, a limited-capacity memory system involved in the retention of information for brief periods; it is also used to hold information retrieved from long-term memory for temporary use.
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source amnesia
The inability to distinguish what you originally experienced from what you heard or were told about an event later.
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state-dependent memory
The tendency to remember something when one is in the same physical or mental state as during the original learning or experience.
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