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Retrieval – Memory (PSY, BIO)

by Tarry Ahuja, MD
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    00:01 Okay. So once you have something stored in memory, you need to access that memory, so we need to retrieve it.

    00:07 So retrieval is the process of finding information that was once stored in our memory.

    00:11 That can be a fairly convoluted process, right? So how do we actually do that? So there’s a couple of ways that we’ve categorized here and one is called free recalls.

    00:20 This is retrieval of items with no constraints.

    00:23 The example is just list recall, so I’m asking you to remember or just -- no one’s even prompting you and you’re just listing things.

    00:31 I’m going to list, you know, five friends that I have and I’m just going to start saying that, versus cued recall, where items are associated with cues which assist in the recall So I can say things like, you know, name five of your friends.

    00:48 And you’re -- you’ve been cued to recall something and then you’re going in and getting, you know, five cities and you’re naming five cities.

    00:57 Recognition is identifying specific information for a set of information, for example a multiple choice question.

    01:03 So, say, you have a question and there’s an A, B, and C.

    01:06 I’m actually giving you specific information, making you go in to access that.

    01:11 So you have to recognize what are the areas of my memory that I need to access, get that information, and then when you’re looking at the multiple choice answers, you’re able to determine, you know, do I know the answer to that? I’m going to go check the files in my long-term memory, access it, and then answer the question.

    01:28 Okay? So, three types of recall.

    01:31 Now, relearning is when you’ve actually learnt something and then you have lost it, so, learning information that was once in memory and forgotten.

    01:42 So I had said to you just because it’s in long-term memory it doesn’t mean it’s there indefinitely, you can lose things.

    01:48 But, the positive is once you have forgotten something, you can relearn it and that reacquisition is much faster than learning it the -- when you were learning it the first time.

    01:58 And there’s another phenomenon that we’re going to talk about in a little bit.

    02:01 It refers to, once you’ve relearned something, what is the timeframe there? So how long does it take to sort of forget something and how does the relearning expedite that process? Now, retrieval cues, considering the network theory of memory, priming nodes and their association aids in recall, right? So in the examples that we just talked about with beer or the color of fruit, we know that network is really, really helping priming things.

    02:29 So if I have primed you, your ability to retrieve improves.

    02:34 Contextual cues such as sounds and smell also present during the encoding help with retrieval.

    02:38 So again, I think we all know scenarios where you smell something and it helps with retrieving that memory.

    02:46 You can say, you know, “I’ve smelled that smell before, that dish.

    02:51 What is that dish? That dish?” And then you smell it and you’re like, “Oh, that’s right.

    02:55 That was that amazing soup that we had when we were in the south of France,” and you make that connection because as you’re encoding information, if you have sound information, smell information, and that’s encoded and tied in with the memory, it’s the same idea as of a network, except instead of just being words, you can have smells and sounds that help activate the network.

    03:16 Certain smells and sounds will take you to certain places, certain smell and sounds will help you remember certain things.

    03:24 Emotion, emotions also can serve as something to assist in retrieving and can be in itself a retrieval cue.

    03:32 So there’s something called mood-dependent memory, and it shows that what is recalled can be state-dependent.

    03:37 So if you are in a very, very happy, happy state and you’re acquiring some information, if you’re in a happy state again, you’ll tend to recall that type of information. Same if when you’re sad.

    03:48 You know, when you’re really sad, you remember all the bad times and you’re like so upset and -- and you -- you kind of feed forward on all that -- all that energy, sort of all that memory based on that mood.

    03:58 Another set of experiments kind of looked at memory recall when you’re actually under the influence.

    04:04 So if you carry this state-dependent learning or memory further, people have found, some researchers found that after you’ve been drinking for example, you start to recall and remember things that you acquired when in that similar state.

    04:20 So think of, you know, drinking with family and friends around Christmas time.

    04:26 And when you’re in that state, you start to recall, “Oh, do you remember last Christmas when we’re sitting around the table and we were drinking? We were talking about all the silly gifts that we’ve received,” or when you’re at a sporting event and you’re drinking and enjoying the game.

    04:38 The dialogue, the conversations, the memories that come up are around that same state.

    04:43 Even the new memories that you’re acquiring and encoding tend to be recalled easier when you’re in that same state.

    04:50 So, what you learn when you’ve been drinking, what you learn when you’re upset, what you learn when you’re sad, is recalled easier when you’re in that same state.

    04:56 So you remember the good times, you remember the bad times when you’re in that state.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Retrieval – Memory (PSY, BIO) by Tarry Ahuja, MD is from the course Making Sense of the Environment.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Free, cued, and recognition
    2. Short term and long term potentiation
    3. Chunking, visuospatial skechpad, and phonological loop
    4. Massed and spaced practice
    5. Semantic memory and flashbulb memory
    1. Priming, association, and contextual cues
    2. Contextual cues and recency effect
    3. Priming and overlearning
    4. Mnemonic, acronym, and chunking
    5. Overlearning and recency effect
    1. Mood dependent memory
    2. Flashbulb memory
    3. Declarative memory
    4. Procedural memory
    5. Semantic memory

    Author of lecture Retrieval – Memory (PSY, BIO)

     Tarry Ahuja, MD

    Tarry Ahuja, MD


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