Chapter VII: Cognition

Memory is a biological, mechanical or electronic system that encodes, stores and recall information.

Information-processing model is a three-staged process through which information must go before it is stored in long-term memory.

Encoding is the first basic task of memory in which information is converted into the necessary format.

Storage is the second basic task of memory in which encoded information is stored for later use.

Retrieval is the third basic task of memory in which stored information is located and loaded into working memory.

Eidetic imagery, aka “photographic memory”, is an unusually vivid form of memory that may interfere with its owner’s thinking.

Sensory memory is the first memory stage in which impressions of the detected stimuli are briefly stored. It is divided into 13 registers.

Working memory is the second memory stage in which selected sensory data and stored information are very briefly stored. It is divided into the sketchpad, phonological loop and central executive.

Long-term memory is the third memory stage in which information is meaningfully organized and stored. It has the longest capacity and operational duration.

Chunking is a memory-enhancing technique that divides the information up into meaningful “chunks” and thus effectively saves space of working memory.

Maintenance rehearsal is a technique of keeping information in working memory in which information is repeated multiple times.

Elaborative rehearsal is a memory-enhancing technique in which new information is associated with items already stored in long-term memory.

Levels-of-processing theory is the idea that the more rigorously information is processed, the more likely that it is recalled successfully.

Procedural memory is a division of long-term memory that implicitly stores information on how to do things.

Declarative memory is a division of long-term memory that explicitly stores information.

Episodic memory is a division of declarative memory that stores personal events and experiences.

Semantic memory is a division of declarative memory that stores general knowledge and concepts.

Engrams are physical changes to the brain associated with memory.

Anterograde amnesia is a memory disorder in which the patient’s declarative memory is unable to encode anything after a brain injury.

Consolidation is the process by which information from working memory is moved to long-term memory over a period of time.

Retrograde amnesia is a memory disorder in which the patient is unable to retrieve information from long-term memory after a brain injury. Opposite: Anterograde amnesia.

Flashbulb memory is an emotionally charged and very vivid memory that is connected to a dramatic event.

Implicit memory is a system that records, stores and retrieves information unconsciously.

Explicit memory is a system that records, stores and retrieves information consciously.

Retrieval cues are any stimuli that may invoke a memory.

Priming is a technique of invoking a memory without triggering consciousness of the association between the cue and the retrieved memory.

Recall is a retrieval task in which one must directly load information from long-term memory.

Recognition is a retrieval task in which one must identify a stimulus as one previously presented.

Encoding specificity principle is the fact that memories are stored with specific cues using which they may be recalled. The closer the stimulus is to the cue, the better a memory is retrieved.

TOT phenomenon is a memory problem in which one believes that the information is in memory but is unable to retrieve it. TOT stands for tip of tongue.

Mood-congruent memory is the fact that memories are recalled according to one’s mood at the time.

Transience is the gradual fading away of memories.

Absent-mindedness is when one fails to remember something due to the lack of attention.

Blocking is when a memory cannot be recalled due to interference.

Proactive interference is a cause of forgetting in which previously recorded memories interfere with the storage of new ones.

Retroactive interference is a cause of forgetting in which newly formed memories interfere with the retrieval of old ones.

Serial position effect is a phenomenon in which items presented first and last are remembered best.

Misattribution is when a memory is retrieved at the wrong time and associated with the wrong context.

Suggestibility is a distortion of memory due to external suggestions.

Expectancy bias is a distortion of memory due to one’s expectation.

Self-consistency bias is a distortion of memory caused by the belief in one’s consistency over time.

Persistence is a condition in which unwanted memories cannot be removed. Thus, absent-mindedness, blocking, suggestibility, biases, persistence, transience and misattribution are called the 7 “sins” of memory.

Mnemonics are memory-enhancing techniques that involve associating new information with already-stored materials.

Method of loci is a memory-enhancing technique that associates items in a memory with physical objects or locations.

Natural language mediators are meaningful verbal patterns associated with the information to be remembered.

Language Acquisition Device (LAD) is a biological structure in the brain that facilitates language learning programmed with basic rules of grammar.

Grammar is rules dictating how words, morphemes and syntax should be used in a language.

Morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning in a language.

Overregularization is when a language rule is applied to widely leading to incorrectness.

Computer metaphor is the idea that the brain operates like a computer.

Concepts are mental categories of items and ideas.

Natural concepts are (physical) mental categories of items from direct experience.

Artificial concepts are (theoretical) mental categories of items defined by rules.

Prototype is the most representative sample of a mental category.

Concept hierarchies are levels of concepts from the most general to the most specific.

Event-related potentials are patterns of brain waves associated with a specific stimulus.

Schema is a very general conceptual framework that provides expectations in similar situations.

Script is a set of rules for interaction within the same situation.

Algorithms are problem-solving methods that guarantees the correct solution if properly applied.

Heuristics are problem-solving methods that do not necessarily bring the correct solution.

Mental set is the tendency to a problem using a method used successfully in the past.

Functional fixedness is the inability to invent new uses for an object.

Hindsight bias is the tendency to believe one could have predicted the outcome after learning what it is.

Anchoring bias is the tendency to base an estimate on an irrelevant quantity.

Representative bias is the tendency to incorrectly categorize seemingly similar items.

Availability bias is a faulty heuristic that speculates using purely personal experience.

Creativity is a mental phenomenon that produces new responses to old stimuli.

Aptitude is an individual’s ability to excel in a particular subject.

 

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