For questions about the encoding, storage, and retrieval of information in the brain. This tag encompasses research all the way from the molecular level in model organisms to abstract mathematical representations, and includes applied learning paradigms and tasks.

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6
votes
3answers
1k views

How do songs trigger memories associated with previous experiences of listening to the song?

Background: If I like a particular song, I listen to it while doing other things until I get sick of that song. This creates an extremely strong bond between the two things: the song and the activity. ...
1
vote
2answers
99 views

Categorization studies with a procedure similar to Shepard et al (1961) and Medin & Schaffer (1978)

I am looking for performance results from categorization studies with discrete stimulus features and reinforcement feedback. I need something like this: ...
7
votes
2answers
247 views

Will Our Brain Speed Reduce As Our Memory “Mail Boxes” Fill Up?

I recently stumbled accross the article "When the Brain's Mailbox Is Full", which can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/1999/07/27/health/when-the-brain-s-mailbox-is-full.html. The article ...
7
votes
2answers
127 views

What causes people to remember events which did not take place?

How do we "remember" events which did not take place, or future events? I'm using remember as a way of describing the experience of recalling a future scenario. For instance, when you were little say ...
13
votes
1answer
494 views

Does the transcription method used (e.g., printing, handwriting, typing, voice recording, etc.) affect memory retention?

When I was in high school, one of my teachers used to make us hand print copies of materials from transparencies on an overhead projector (I may be showing my age), with the reasoning that re-writing ...
8
votes
1answer
149 views

Does typical duration of Short Term Memory differ between tasks?

The duration of Short Term Memory is a fuzzy thing; Wikipedia notes several disputes over it's length and I recently alluded to this fuzziness myself. However, I wonder if part of the apparently ...
5
votes
1answer
127 views

Psychological research on memorability of passwords?

There are lots of ad-hoc rules that people are happy to propose about passwords, such as: Pick a phrase you can remember easily, and then use the initial letters. A random short sequence of letters, ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

A psychological theory that explains why people remember only the outcome?

I've read somewhere about a psychological theory that people often remember the end results or the outcome of a certain situation/discussion/conversation/etc, but not the details of it. In other ...
6
votes
1answer
455 views

What are the purported mechanisms of eidetic memory and why is it comorbid with autism?

Eidetic memory, often called "photographic" or "flashbulb" memory, is often associated with amazing feats of recall. Is the mechanism behind this phenomenon an aberration of the visualization of a ...
6
votes
2answers
318 views

Are there any laws of memory?

Several years ago, my adviser wrote an article discussing the observation that a hundred years of studying memory had not resulted in the discovery of a "law" of memory. He wrote (p. 247): When ...
7
votes
2answers
722 views

What is the average amount of new vocabulary adults retain when learning a second language?

What are the realistic/optimal (or maximal) number of words of vocabulary that can be learned (retained and later successfully accessed) by an adult learner of a foreign/second language? (Unit: Per ...
5
votes
0answers
110 views

Chunking Patterns and Enjoyment of Applying Patterns

I've been reading a book "The Theory of Fun in Game Design" it talks about two concepts of psychology that I wanted to confirm are true. The writer the book isn't a psychologist. The two concepts ...
9
votes
3answers
313 views

Is it possible to measure the working memory of a non-human animal?

Is it possible to measure the working memory of a non-human animal? And if so, have there been any studies that have quantified the working memory of animals, and that have compared that to the ...
6
votes
1answer
140 views

Controlling for response bias in a forced choice memory task

I want to present participants a pair of items $a$ and $b$, each with an association $x$ or $y$. Later on participants will presented with the items singularly, and asked 'what was the association?'. ...
10
votes
1answer
261 views

Compared efficiency of different spaced-repetition memorisation techniques

Spaced repetition is a memorization technique that works by reviewing question/answer pairs according to a schedule that depends on performance. Be it software or paper flashcards, there are various ...
8
votes
1answer
120 views

Hearing first but understanding later?

I have experienced this phenomenon several times and checked with other people as well. It goes like this: you hear something, but it's just a sound with no meaning. Some seconds later, you ...
12
votes
1answer
303 views

Does dream recall disturb the processes of memory consolidation?

Psychology in the time of Freud was occupied with dreams. Relaying these to one's analyst was an important part of treatment. Fast-forward to less than 100 years later, and we know so much about the ...
-3
votes
1answer
623 views

What test can be used to measure memory? [closed]

We want to have a test to determine the status of a person's memory. For example, a good test might consist of multtiple choice questions and take 5 - 10 minutes. The end result would be a summary ...
27
votes
4answers
1k views

Is The magical number 7 still valid?

George A. Miller published "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information" in 1956 and is one of the most highly cited papers in psychology. It ...
7
votes
4answers
178 views

Why is it easier to remember the correct response for problems with many options rather than just two?

Sometimes it seems easier, at least for me, to remember an answer, when there are more than 2 options to choose from. For example, I easily remember my pin (14 bit), but hardly the lighter switch (up ...
16
votes
2answers
751 views

Are spaced flashcards effective for learning?

Several apps and sites offer flashcard-based learning that repeat the cards you do poorly on over a period of time (the more inaccurate the answer the closer to each other the repetitions are). One ...
6
votes
1answer
162 views

Savant syndrome and Cognitive bias

Take the case of an autistic savant with exceptional memory skills. Is this person less prone to cognitive biases involving memory skills such as availability heuristic bias than a normal person due ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

What was his name again…ahh got it!

You all know the situation described in the title. You forgot something and start to search your memory and then after quite a while it jumps right in front of you, out of nowhere. My questions are: ...
7
votes
1answer
104 views

Is it possible to distinguish recall and calculation?

Say I ask subjects what $20 \cdot 20$ is. Is there any way, besides introspection, to evaluate whether subjects recalled the answer or calculated the answer? In general, I would expect that the ...
6
votes
1answer
119 views

Phenomenon that causes music to sound like it's being played at a different tempo than remembered?

Something I've noticed now and then is that I'll be listening to a song off my music player and it sounds like it's being played in a tempo faster or slower than I remember the song being. Is this a ...
7
votes
2answers
466 views

How to assess participant awareness of experimental deception without inducing awareness?

I am designing a memory experiment with a deceptive critical trial, wherein an item is swapped without the participant's knowledge. What is the best way to determine if the participant has noticed ...
7
votes
2answers
396 views

What is the term for “What has been seen cannot be unseen” in cognitive sciences?

During a discussion with my officemate I told him that I read somewhere that the gas pillar in Carina nebula looks like a cat punching the dog; ever since then, every time my wallpaper slideshow ...
2
votes
2answers
282 views

Encoding of abstract concepts in memory

When you read a book and you want to remember it you can encode the information into mental pictures with associations. This is a technique for remembering the content. The problem is when you ...
15
votes
2answers
555 views

Does any evidence show that Smartphone users have poorer memory?

An ages old complaint is that new technology harms memory. Why remember something when you can look it up? In a course on Human Memory I distinctly recall an interesting discussion on phones and ...
9
votes
1answer
163 views

When is higher confidence predictive of less accuracy?

Normally, when an individual is more confident in a particular response (e.g., memory decision, general knowledge answer), he or she is also more likely to be accurate. There are also studies in which ...
8
votes
3answers
344 views

Is it possible to create a false memory by trying to remember something that eludes you?

Sometimes I have difficulty remembering the specifics of an event, specifically if I'm tired or possibly have recently consumed alcohol. A close friend of mine has gotten me in the habit of ...
7
votes
2answers
281 views

Is it easier for people to remember longer words than words mixed with symbols?

I'm doing a study on why it is difficult to remember passwords. I would imagine that it would be easier for people to remember a password like "strawberryhouse" than "$tr@wb3rr!", even though the ...
6
votes
1answer
267 views

Why do dual N-back games use certain letters?

Every implementation of dual n-back that I've ever seen uses the set of letters 'C', 'H', 'K', 'L', 'Q', 'S', 'R' and 'T'. Why is that?
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What is a “delayed match-to-sample task”?

This question talked about how a "delayed match-to-sample task" can be used to measure an animal's working memory. What is a delayed match-to-sample task and how can it be used to measure working ...
10
votes
3answers
887 views

Is it possible to improve reading speed and visual comprehension by doing exercises?

Background I'm trying to capture detailed information from the images in my visual memory, mainly text. My daily life requires reading many documents on varying topics. I want to increase my reading ...
5
votes
2answers
191 views

Effectiveness of recalling information in the same location it was learned

In an interview with Robert A. Bjork this article claims that it is easier to recall information where it occurred: Similarly, studying in only one location is great as long as you’ll only be ...
5
votes
2answers
7k views

Why are some people unable to easily memorize the lyrics to a song?

Although I have listened some songs hundred of times I can't sing the lyrics to any of these songs from beginning to end without pauses. However I am able to whistle the whole song without difficulty. ...