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Cognitive Psychology - Attention and Memory

Memory and Brain Mechanisms Paper Suggested Resources
Use these resources when working on the Cognitive Development throughout the Lifetime assignment.
Read "Improvement of Working Memory Performance by Training is not Transferable," by Corbin & Camos, from the Europe's Journal Of Psychology (2011).
Read "Memory Control Beliefs: How Are They Related To Age, Strategy Use And Memory Improvement?" by Lachman, Andreoletti, & Pearman, from Social Cognition (2006).
Read "Sleep Improves Memory: The Effect of Sleep on Long Term Memory in Early Adolescence," by Potkin, Bunney Jr., & García, from Plos ONE (2012).
Read "Questions and Answers About Memories of Childhood Abuse," from the American Psychological Association.
Read "Intellectual Resources may Help Soldiers Stave off Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder," from the American Psychological Association (2002).
Read "Remembering Schema-Consistent Information: Effects of a Balance Schema on Recognition Memory," by Sentis & Burnstein, from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (1979).
Read "Are You Sure You Forgot? Feeling of Knowing in Directed Forgetting," by Tekan & Arturk, from the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition (2001).

Solution Preview

• Theoretically, how is working memory similar to and different from long-term memory?
Memory involves the ability of individuals to encode and later retrieve information. There are three stages of memory processing: encoding, consolidation and retrieval. Encoding refer to the processes through which information is stored in memory. As a benefit, the process of encoding information determines how human beings function (www.psych.stamfphi/edi). Consolidation modifies representations that are processed, so that they are more stable, and retrieval is that process by which information is recovered from memory for use (Sternberg, 2006).
Long-term memory involves large quantities of information being stored for long periods of time. For instance, information is transferred (encoded) into long-term memory from short-term memory (limited duration.). Examples of long-term memory are birthday, names, places, persons, etc. Thus, if information is recognized (i. e., attended to), an awareness takes place through stimuli to trigger recall. On the other hand, if information is not encoded into long-term memory, we may forget how to perform specific tasks such as motor skills (e.g. riding a bike). Thus, learning is another reason why encoding information into long-term memory is important. Short-term memory soon fades (e.g., forgetting a phone number or a song (Sternberg, 2006).
The term 'working memory' refers to the ability one has to hold in mind and mentally manipulate information over short periods of time. For example, computing mathematical problems in an activity relies on working memory. Other examples related to daily life functions everyday include: (a) remembering a new telephone number, (b) a bank pin number, (c) web address, or (d) a vehicle registration number. According to Sternberg (2006), without working memory complex mental activities could not carried out, because some information have to be kept in mind while processing other information. Thus, theoretically, working memory is the storing of important information in the course of mental, or daily activities; whereas long-term memory describes memories that are stored in the brain for longer periods to be later recalled for use.
• How are memories formed in the brain (using neural circuitry), and how are they maintained?
Studies suggest that the brain plays a major role in regulating cognitive processes that is associated with memory. For example, the brain is the organ that mostly directly and controls thought processes, emotions and motivations; and determines how individuals interact with the environment (Sternberg, 2006). Parts or divisions of the brain involved in memory regulation, or storage include the diencephalon, the division of the brain composed of the thalamus [the top of the brain stem], and the hypothalamus. Hence, thought processes are mediated by neural activity in particular divisions of the brain. These divisions play important roles in the regulation of sensory processes and motivated behaviors, respectively (Pinel, 2006). As an example, the hypothalamus controls the autonomic nervous system (ANS) as it relates to cognition.
From a physiological perspective, studies show that intense electrical stimulation of the prefrontal paths in the brain causes a long-term increase in excitatory post synaptic potentials (long-term potentiation). Long-term potentiation (LTP) is stated is caused by several factors including: (a) increased release of transmitter substances[neurotransmitters], (b) increased number of ...

Solution Summary

This solution examines long-term and working memory, and memory deficits