Interference Affects Memory. Why We Forget. Implicit Vs. Explicit Memory. Amnesia

After watching the video and reading the articles please respond to the following questions:

1) From the video, what did you find most surprising and why? List the time point in the video (ex: 4:21 – 5:17) and explain why that aspect was surprising to you.

2) From the first article, do you think the techniques they describe could be useful in your college classes? Why or why not – explain.

3) How do we forget previously learned material? That is, does forgetting happen due to decay of old material or overwriting of old material with new material? Explain

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  • response 1: What I found most surprising in this video was that our memories can be a reconstructed. It can be changed at any time either by you, or others. This was very surprising to me because I always thought that once a memory was created, it was untouched and stored in our brains. It’s also very surprising to know that others have the access to alter our memories as well. People can just come in and change, alter or even plant false memories. It’s kind of scary if you think about it.  These techniques are quite like mnemonics. They are both used to help remind you of something, yet visual images seems like it can be useful to remember things instantly. I believe they can be useful. Visual images can be used to store course material in my brain. I think using these techniques is more for memorizing material, not actually learning it. It can be used for test or even presentations.  We can forget previously learned material by either the decay of strength or by replacing what we already learned with new material. The decay theory of forgetting states that “memory traces simply decay in strength with time” (Anderson, 2015, Pg. 154) . So basically the length of the timeframe of when we learn something will determine the decay of the memory. The longer an individual waits to recall the information the more difficult it will become. As we previously learned, memories are encoded by synaptic connections between neurons and as these connections weaken with the psychological deterioration in old age, we tend to forget material.
    02:10
  • response 2: After viewing the Elizabeth Loftus TED Talks video, the part I found most surprising was her study done in 1990 regarding extreme memory problems (8:43 – 11:45). The study showed that people who undergone a certain type of psychotherapy had developed bizarre and horrific memories, which in fact were not events that actually happened to them personally. Her study showed that through exercises such as, hypnosis, imagination, dream interpretation and exposure to false information, the people who were in this therapy were believing these bizarre events were part of their past, such as being exposed to satanic rituals or abuse. I found most surprising that insinuation of events can actually cause the brain to recall events as actual happenings. The fact that the people actually recalled terrifying detailed accounts as if they were there was scary to me. I can see now how people can easily brainwashed.  In the first article, the amount of information that the people in the contest retained was incredible. I do believe that the techniques they used to retain information in such a fast paced manner would be beneficial in college studying. I thin subjects such as, Math, English and Science would be some areas where there is a lot of memorization that could done using the association technique. When I was younger I had a memory game that I played for hours, the game would give you objects and you had to remember where you last saw the item. i would associate the color od the piece and then recall its location. Pairing numbers together is also a greaat technique for math classes.  The brain can hold an abundance of information but at some point it needs to make room for new material. I believe that decay of memory is one way that we forget things overtime, but I also think that the brain does override old information with new, fresh information. While we retain an abundance of information in our brains, I think that some of it is unnecessary or unimportant and we tend to override those memories with new ones. Repetition also plays an important role in what we retain overtime, if we are constantly using the information we are not going to forget it so easily.

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