Introduction to Psychology:
Cleoputri Yusainy, PhD
Memory and the “self”
“If who we are is shaped by what
we remember, and if memory is a
function of the brain, then
synapses are the fundamental
units of the self” (LeDoux, 2002).
Computer analogy for human’s memory
Trust your memory?
 Memory is an active system that receives
information from the senses, organises and
alters it as it stores it away, and then
retrieve the information from the storage.
 Why do people:
 Forget things that had happened?
 Remember things that did not happen,
or remember them differently from the
way they really were?
Primacy vs. recency effect
 Primacy effect: Characteristic of memory in
which recall is particularly good for first two
or three items in list.
 Recency effect: Characteristic of memory in
which recall is particularly good for the last
few items in list.
 Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Improves
Atkinson-Shiffrin three-stage model
of memory
Déjà vu (already seen) is thought to happen when the
information we take in from our surroundings "leak out" and
incorrectly shortcut its way from STM to LTM, bypassing typical
storage transfer mechanisms
LTM, learning, and emotion
sensory information,
memory, and learning
reward centre
centre for emotions, emotional
behavior, and motivation
long-term memory
LTM, sleep, and dream
 Dreams generally occur in the REM (rapid eye
movement) sleep.
 “Dreams reflect a biological process of LTM
consolidation, serving to strengthen the neural
traces of recent events, to integrate these new
traces with older memories and previously
stored knowledge, and to maintain the
stability of existing memory representations in
the face of subsequent experience.”
Types of LTM
1. Explicit (declarative) memory (facts): LTM
of factual knowledge and personal
a. Semantic memory: Impersonal facts and
everyday knowledge.
b. Episodic memory: Personal experiences
linked with specific times and places.
2. Implicit (procedural) memory (skills): LTM
of conditioned responses and learned skills,
e.g., driving.
HM, the man with no memory
What happens when you remove the hippocampus?
Loss of memory
 Anterograde amnesia: Inability to form new
explicit LTM for events following brain trauma or
surgery. Explicit memories formed before (and
STM) are left intact.
 Retrograde amnesia: Disruption of LTM for the
past, especially episodic memory.
 Infantile/child amnesia: Inability as adults to
remember events that occurred before 3 y.o. age.
Why we forget
A plastic nervous system requires the ability not
only to acquire and store but also to forget.
The fiction of memory
 Elizabeth Loftus: The fiction of memory
 Our tendency to create false memories
could be related to our ability to learn