Memory and motor skill

Memory and motor skill
…and other forms of memory
What to look for
• Where is memory?
– One place or several?
• How are memories stored?
– One method or several?
• Are memories for all things equal?
– If not, how are they different?
• What can all this tell us about teaching and
learning motor skills?
The basics
• Red box game
– How does performance change over time?
– What is being used to guide performance change?
– Is it different for the observers and the performer?
- What is anticipation?
- Long and short term stores?
The basics
• Short vs long term memory
– William James:
Short-term, or primary
Long-term, or secondary
The basics
• Short term memory performance
– Digit span test
The basics
• Short Term memory
– Limited capacity, used for retrieval
• Working memory
= short term memory + processes used to work with
the information
The basics
• Working memory function
– Rehearsal, perseveration
• Chunking – phone #, SS#, etc.
• Strategies for digit span!
The basics
• The three stage model – storage, transfer and
The basics
• Long term memory
– Imagine all associations being stored in some way
How would this affect
memory performance and
The basics
• Answer these 2 questions:
– What continent is Kenya in?
– What are the two colors of the pieces in a game of
• Name any animal
The basics
• Features expected of a memory that learns by
– Priming
– Encoding-retrieval compatibility (Tulving)
– Transfer
– False generalization
The basics
• Learning new memories
– Consolidation
– Reconsolidation
• Confabulation – confusion of
• False positives - getting it
– Witness problems
The basics
• Learning new memories
– Reconsolidation
• Chan and LaPaglia (2012):
The basics
• Types of long term memory
The basics
• Types of long term memory
– Declarative vs procedural
– Declarative vs. non-declarative
– Declarative vs. dispositional
– Explicit vs. Implicit
– Conscious vs. Unconscious
• Combining these, we get…
The basics
• Types of long term memory – more detail
The basics
• Other reliable memory phenomena
– Primacy-recency effect
– Depth of processing (Craik and Lockhart)
– Deficient processing
• Brown-Peterson, Peterson-Peterson paradigms
Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory
• Given all the preceding, what do we know of
how all that stuff works?
– Neural systems responsible for memory
– Recent research on how these systems work
Memory storage - History
• Lashley (1929) – memories stored throughout
• Hebb (1949) – distributed but features stored
in different places.
– General picture still of memory integrated with
other functions within all regions of brain
Memory storage - History
• Scoville & Milner (1957)
– “citation classic” (around 2,500 and counting)
– Patient “H.M.”
Memory storage - History
• Scoville & Milner (1957)
– Patient “H.M.”
• Bilateral medial temporal lobe
• Severe anterograde amnesia
• Some retrograde amnesia
• Memory is a “distinct cerebral
Memory storage - History
• Scoville & Milner (1957)
– Patient “H.M.”
• Structures removed:
hippocampus, amygdala, and
part of hippocampal gyrus.
• Structures subsequently
associated with memory:
• Research relied often on
case studies (R.B., L.M, W.H.)
Memory storage - History
• Patient “H.M.”
– Principles arising from the case study
• 1. Could still learn motor skills
– Memory is not a single thing
Memory storage - History
• Patient “H.M.”
– Principles arising from the case study
• 2. structures required for memory don’t appear to be
needed for intellect or perception
– H. M. was still lucid and capable after surgery.
• 3. Immediate memory and working memory not impeded
– H. M. could still selectively attend and rehearse information
– Lost memories when distracted (therapy situation)
• 4. Long term memories unaffected
– Provided a long time prior to surgery
– Lost structures aren’t the ultimate storage sites for memory
– The structures seem to lead to a series of synaptic changes
resulting in storage elsewhere
Memory storage - History
• Multiple Memory Systems
– Motor learning can still proceed (Milner (1962).
– What of other tasks?
• Perceptual and cognitive skills persist
– E.g. skill of reading words in mirror improves with practice
(Cohen and Squire, 1980)
• Priming intact ((Tulving and Schacter, 1990)
– Leads to overall separation of procedural and
declarative memory systems.
Memory storage - History
• Multiple Memory Systems
– Other obervations
• Neostratium involved in another form of learning (slow
and guided by sensory feedback)
– “Normals” learn in 80 trials, profound amnesics in over 1000.
– If the task is not aided by explicit knowledge, learning rates
are similar.
– Poor transfer of learning in amnesics
• Declarative memory: true or false
• Non-declarative memory: dispositional, not true false
Memory storage - History
• Visual Perception
– Some controversy recently
• Some studies found losses associated with damage to
perirhinal cortex
• Others not so much
• General current thought: medial temporal lobe
structures not involved in visual perception
Memory storage - History
• Immediate memory
– Drachman & Arbit (1966)
• Digit strings presented until correctly repeated
• Controls: first error at 8 digits (!), strings as long as 20 remembered (up to
25 reps needed)
• H.M.:
– 6 digits correctly remembered (preop level)
– Never succeeded at 7, despite over 25 attempts given.
Memory storage - History
• Immediate memory
– Jeneson et al. (2010)
• Objects (1-7) presented on a table top. Immediately had to reproduce
array on neighboring table
• Controls: as many as 7 objects placed correctly after few trials (up to 10
reps allowed)
• G. P.:
– 1-3 objects correctly remembered
– Never succeeded at more than 3, despite over 10 attempts given.
Memory storage - History
• Immediate memory
– These amnesics can do anything provided it only
requires immediate memory functions.
– Anything requiring some form of longer term
memory is severely impaired
Memory storage - History
• Remote Memory and Consolidation
– H.M. tested at famous face memory (1920-1970)
• Did poorly in post-morbid period (1950s, 1960s)
• Did better than controls (age matched) for pre-morbid
– Medial temporal lobe not the site of memory
• Hence “remote” memory
– Early autobiographical memory also largely intact
Memory storage - History
• Memory in the Neocortex
– Consolidation and reconsolidation
• Disparate regions activated at encoding
• Same disparate regions reactivated at retrieval
– Newly formed memories use hippocampus to reactivate
distant areas of cortex
– Older memories activated without hippocampus
• Each region only stores particular aspects of the
– Extensive evidence from specific distal lesions
» Achromatopsia, prosopagnosia, amusia.
Memory storage - History
• Overall conclusions
– “independent” memory systems
– Medial temporal lobes involved in declarative
– Immediate and dispositional memories separate
• Question:
– If they are separate, does asking one to influence
the other do harm? See next week’s readings.
• Cortical areas and associated memory

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