Recall or retrieval of memory refers to the subsequent re-accessing of events or information from the past, which have been previously encoded and stored in. Sep 9, Learn about how memory retrieval works in our brains, plus get information on the potential problems that occur with this process. Memory encoding and memory retrieval are distinct, yet interconnected, phases of memory. How we encode information affect how well we can remember them.
Information and Memories Retrieving
The first stage is Sensory Memory which holds information coming in through the senses for a period ranging from a fraction of a second to several seconds. Information is held long enough to process. It can hold vast amount, but only briefly. The Sensory memory allows a visual image, a sound, or a touch to linger for a brief moment after the stimulation is over.
That mental image or sensation is then stored in short-term memory. It is used to have conversations, solve problems, and remember to complete task. The sensory memory retains an exact copy of what is seen or heard but it only lasts for a few seconds milliseconds after an item is perceived. It has unlimited capacity, but information is stored very briefly in the sensory area. We attend to only certain aspects of sensory information, allowing some of this information to pass into the next stage which is short-term or working.
Visual sensory memory is called iconic memory , and auditory sensory is called echoic memory. Paying attention to sensory memories generates the information in short-term or Working memory.
Selective attention determines what information moves from sensory to short-term. Short-term or Working memory allows recall for a period of several seconds to a minute without rehearsal. The capacity of short term is very limited. It is thought to be about seven bits in length, that is, we normally remember seven items.
However, capacity can be increased through a process called chunking. However, males and females do not differ on working, immediate and semantic memory tasks. Neuro-psychological observations suggest that, in general, previous injuries cause greater deficits in females than in males. It has been proposed that the gender differences in memory performance reflect underlying differences in the strategies used to process information, rather than anatomical differences.
However, gender differences in cerebral asymmetry received support from morphometric studies showing a greater leftward asymmetry in males than in females, meaning that men and women use each side of their brain to a different extent. Studies have tested the difference between what men and women can recall after a presentation. Three speakers were involved, one being female and two being male.
Men and women were put into the same lecture hall and had the same speaker talk to them. The results suggested that information presented by the women speaker was more easily recalled by all the members of the study.
Since pitch ranges from low tones to high tones, it draws people's attention to the words attributed with the tone. As the tone changes, words stand out and from these differences memories can be stored. A distinguishing feature is how males and females process information and then recall what was presented to them.
Females tend to remember nonverbal cues and associate the meaning of a discussion with gestures. There has been much research on whether eating prior to a cognitive recall test can affect cognitive functioning.
One example was a study of the effect of breakfast timing on selected cognitive functions of elementary school students. Their results found that children who ate breakfast at school scored notably higher on most of the cognitive tests than did students who ate breakfast at home and also children who did not eat breakfast at all. In a study of women experiencing Premenstrual Syndrome, they were either given a placebo beverage or a carbohydrate-rich one.
The patients were tested at home; their moods, cognitive performance, and food craving were measured before the consumption of the beverage and 30, 90, and minutes after consumption. The results showed that the carbohydrate-rich beverage significantly decreased self-reported depression, anger, confusion, and carbohydrate craving 90 to minutes after consumption.
Memory word recognition also improved significantly. Studies have indicated that children who are inactive have poor health, but they also have poor cognitive health also. With low fitness there is a relationship to decreased cognitive functioning; for instance there are different types of cognitive problems like perception, memory, cognitive control, and there is lower academic achievement. One test selected children to be in two different groups, one group was physically active the other group was not.
After a while of monitoring the children the researchers tested the children in learning and recall memory to see what they were retaining and to observe the difference if available of low physical activity versus high physical activity.
The learning part of the experiment was equally distributed on both spectrums for each group, but recall memory was the only variable that did not match both of the groups. Since physical activity impacts all of these important parts of the brain, this form of exercise keeps the neural networks functioning well. Neural networks allow information to process and pass to the hippocampus in order to retain memory. There is barely any recalled memory in cases of fear and trauma exposure, brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, pain, or anxiety.
Recall memory is very limited, since the only memory people have that suffer from these problems is the flash backs of what happened when the event took place.
They cannot recall how they felt or what they saw, but through images or audio people can recall that tragic event. The only way to recall the feelings they had were when sirens of police vehicles, fire trucks, and ambulances drove by their house they feel the exact feelings that were in effect on that day.
Recall memory is active when a familiar sound triggers a feeling of pain from a past event, but most of the recall is shut out from traumatic event. The use of therapy is constructed for a person with this problem to help avoid the fear associated with sounds or objects, and be able to then recall other pieces of information that happened during the event.
The phenomenological account of recall is referred to as metacognition , or "knowing about knowing". This includes many states of conscious awareness known as feeling-of-knowing states, such as the tip-of-the-tongue state. It has been suggested that metacognition serves a self-regulatory purpose whereby the brain can observe errors in processing and actively devote resources to resolving the problem.
It is considered an important aspect of cognition that can aid in the development of successful learning strategies that can also be generalized to other situations. A key technique in improving and helping recall memory is to take advantage of Mnemonic devices and other cognitive strategies. Mnemonic devices are a type of cognitive strategy that enables individuals to memorize and recall new information in an easier fashion, rather than just having to remember a list of information that is not related to one another.
Words or an acronym can stand for a process that individuals need to recall. The benefits of using these types of strategies to perform tasks are that encoding becomes more organized and it is easier to remember and process information.
By using the strategies the information becomes related to each other and the information sticks. Chunking is the process of breaking down numbers into smaller units to remember the information or data, this helps recall numbers and math facts. People read them off as such when reciting a phone number to another person. There has been research done about these techniques and an institution tested two groups of people to see if these types of devices work well for real people, the results came back determining a significant performance difference between the group who did not use cognitive strategies and the group who did.
The group using the techniques immediately performed better than the other group and when taking a pre-test and post-test the results indicated that the group using the techniques improved while the other group did not. Tip of the tongue. A tip of the tongue TOT state refers to the perception of a large gap between the identification or knowledge of a specific subject and being able to recall descriptors or names involving said subject.
This phenomenon is also referred to as ' presque vu ', a French term meaning "almost seen". There are two prevalent perspectives of TOT states: Psycholinguistics views TOT states as a failure of retrieval from lexical memory see Cohort Model being cued by semantic memory facts.
Since there is an observed increase in the frequency of TOT states with age, there are two mechanisms within psycholinguistics that could account for the TOT phenomenon. The first is the degradation of lexical networks with age, where degrading connections between the priming of knowledge and vocabulary increases difficulty of successfully retrieving a word from memory.
The second suggests that the culmination of knowledge, experience, and vocabulary with age results in a similar situation where many connections between a diverse vocabulary and diverse knowledge also increases the difficulty of successful retrieval of a word from memory.
The metacognitive perspective views TOT states simply as the awareness felt when such an event occurs and the perception of the experience involved.
Mainly being aware of a TOT state can result in the rapid devotion of cognitive resources to resolving the state and successfully retrieving the word from memory. Such an explanation leaves much to be desired; however, the psycholinguistic perspective and the metacognitive perspective on TOT states are not mutually exclusive and both are used to observe TOT states in a laboratory setting.
An incubation effect can be observed in TOT states, where the passage of time alone can influence the resolution of the state and result in successful recall. Also, the presence of a TOT state is a good predictor that the problem can be resolved correctly, although this has been shown to occur more frequently with older-young-adults than young-adults or seniors. This is evidence for both the metacognitive perspective as well as the psycholinguistic perspective.
It demonstrates the devotion of resources to searching memory, a source of cumulative information, for the desired correct information, and it also shows that we are aware of what information we know or do not know. These occur rarely and are more prevalent in patients with traumatic head injuries, and brain disorders including epilepsy.
Often, even after years, mental states once present in consciousness return to it with apparent spontaneity and without any act of the will; that is, they are reproduced involuntarily. Here, also, in the majority of cases we at once recognise the returned mental state as one that has already been experienced; that is, we remember it. Under certain conditions, however, this accompanying consciousness is lacking, and we know only indirectly that the "now" must be identical with the "then"; yet we receive in this way a no less valid proof for its existence during the intervening time.
As more exact observation teaches us, the occurrence of these involuntary reproductions is not an entirely random and accidental one.
On the contrary they are brought about through the instrumentality of other immediately present mental images. Moreover they occur in certain regular ways which in general terms are described under the so-called 'laws of association'.
Until recently, research on this phenomenon has been relatively rare, with only two types of involuntary memory retrieval identified: Both of these phenomena can be considered emergent aspects of otherwise normal and quite efficient cognitive processes.
Involuntary autobiographical memory IAM retrieval occurs spontaneously as the result of sensory cues as well as internal cues, such as thought or intention. These cues influence us in our day-to-day lives by constantly and automatically activating unconscious memories through priming.
Autobiographical memories that are unrelated to any specific cues, whether internal or external, are the least frequent to occur. It has been suggested that in this case, an error in self-regulation of memory has occurred that results in an unrelated autobiographical memory reaching the conscious mind.
These findings are consistent with metacognition as the third type of experience is often identified as the most salient one. However, the elicited memory is devoid of personal grounding and often considered trivial, such as a random word, image, or phrase.
ISM retrieval can occur as a result of spreading activation , where words, thoughts, and concepts activate related semantic memories continually. When enough related memories are primed that an interrelated concept, word, thought, or image "pops" into consciousness and you are unaware of the extent of its relatedness within your memory.
Spreading activation is thought to build over a period of many hours, days, or even weeks before a random semantic memory "pops". False memories result from persistent beliefs, suggestions via authority figures, or statements of false information.
Repeated exposure to these stimuli influence the reorganization of a person's memory, affecting its details, or implanting vivid false accounts of an event. An example of this is cryptomnesia , or inadvertent plagiarism, where one duplicates a work that they have previously encountered believing it to be their original idea.
This can be seen with the misinformation effect , where an eye-witness account of an event can be influenced by a bystander account of the same event, or by suggestion via an authority figure. It is also believed to influence the recovery of repressed shocking or abusive memories in patients under hypnosis, where the recovered memory, although possibly a vivid account, could be entirely false, or have specific details influenced as the result of persistent suggestion by the therapist.
Retrograde amnesia is typically the result of physical or psychological trauma which manifests itself as the inability to remember information preceding the traumatic event. It is usually accompanied by some type of anterograde amnesia , or inability to acquire new knowledge.
Focal retrograde amnesia FRA , sometimes known as functional amnesia, refers to the presence of retrograde amnesia while knowledge acquisition remains intact no anterograde amnesia.
Memory for how to use objects and perform skills implicit memory may remain intact while specific knowledge of personal events or previously learned facts explicit memory become inaccessible or lost.
Dysfunction of the temporal and frontal lobes have been observed in many cases of focal retrograde amnesia, whether metabolic or the result of lesions. However, this evidence only appears to correlate with the symptoms of retrograde amnesia as cases have been observed where patients suffering from minor concussions, showing no visible brain damage, develop FRA.
It has been suggested that FRA could represent a variety of different disorders, cognitive deficits, or conditions that result in disproportionate loss of explicit memory, hence Disproportionate Retrograde Amnesia. The Face Advantage allows information and memories to be recalled easier through the presentation of a person's face rather than a person's voice.
The participants are asked to say if the face or voice is familiar. If the answer is yes, they are asked to recall semantic and episodic memories and finally the name of the face or voice. The results show that in the second stage of face perception when memories are recalled,  information is recalled faster and more accurate after a face is perceived, and slower, less accurate and with less detail after a voice is perceived.
A possible explanation is that the connections between face representations and semantic and episodic memory are stronger than that of voices.
Memory phenomena are rich sources of storylines and novel situations in popular media. Two phenomena that appear regularly are total recall abilities and amnesia.
It depicts the life of Ireneo Funes, a fictional character who falls off his horse and experiences a head injury. After this accident, Funes has total recall abilities. He is said to recall an entire day with no mistakes, but this feat of recall takes him an entire day to accomplish.
It is said that Borges was ahead of his time in his description of memory processes in this story, as it was not until the s and research on the patient HM that some of what the author describes began to be understood. Robert Langdon, a religious iconography and symbology professor at Harvard University, has almost total recall ability. Total recall is also popular in television. It can be seen in Season 4 of the television show " Criminal Minds ", in which the character Dr.
Spencer Reid claims to have total recall ability. Amnesia which is the damage or disruption of memory processes, has been a very popular subject in movies since Although its portrayal is usually inaccurate, there are some exceptions.
Memento is said to be inspired by the condition of the famous amnesic patient known as HM. The main character Leonard suffers from anterograde amnesia after a traumatic attack in which his wife dies. He maintains his identity and shows very little retrograde amnesia. He also displays some of the daily memory problems that are experiences by most amnesics, such as forgetting names or where he is going.
Another fairly accurate portrayal of memory disturbances is the non-human character Dory in Finding Nemo This fish, like Leonard, shows memory problems faced by most amnesics where she forgets names, has difficulty storing and recalling information, and often forgets what she is doing, or why she is doing something.
Movies tend to show amnesia as a result of head injury from accidents or attacks. The loss of identity and autobiographical memory shown in Santa Who? This is also portrayed in The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy where the main character forgets he is a trained assassin. Another misrepresentation of the reality of memory loss in the movies can be seen in Clean Slate and 50 First Dates where the characters are able to encode memory during the day but lose all memory of that day at night, while sleeping.
Movies often restore victim's memory through a second trauma, or through a kind of cued recall when they revisit familiar places or see familiar objects. The phenomenon of the second trauma can be seen in Singing in the Dark where the victim experiences the onset of amnesia because of the trauma of the Holocaust, but memory is restored with a blow to the head.
Although neurosurgery is often the cause of amnesia, it is seen as a solution in some movies, including Deluxe Annie and Rascals Men in Black features a device to erase the potentially harmful memories of extraterrestrial interactions in members of the general public. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind describes a process that targets and erases memories of interpersonal relationships the patients would rather forget so that they are no longer able to recall the experience.
In Paycheck and Total Recall memory suppression is used to control and the characters are able to overcome the attempts and recall pieces of their memory. By repeating or recalling [? This process is also known as rehearsal. Retrieval-induced forgetting is a process by which retrieving an item from long-term memory impairs subsequent recall of related items.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Several terms redirect here. That is, even though people may have great confidence in what they recall, their memories are not as accurate e. Nonetheless, all other things being equal, distinctive and emotional events are well-remembered. We might say that we went to a party and remember it, but what we remember is at best what we encoded. As noted above, the process of encoding is selective, and in complex situations, relatively few of many possible details are noticed and encoded.
The process of encoding always involves recoding —that is, taking the information from the form it is delivered to us and then converting it in a way that we can make sense of it. For example, you might try to remember the colors of a rainbow by using the acronym ROY G BIV red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.
The process of recoding the colors into a name can help us to remember. However, recoding can also introduce errors—when we accidentally add information during encoding, then remember that new material as if it had been part of the actual experience as discussed below. Psychologists have studied many recoding strategies that can be used during study to improve retention.
This helps us form associations that we can use to retrieve information later. Creating imagery is part of the technique Simon Reinhard uses to remember huge numbers of digits, but we can all use images to encode information more effectively.
Using study strategies such as the ones described here is challenging, but the effort is well worth the benefits of enhanced learning and retention. We emphasized earlier that encoding is selective: However, recoding can add information that was not even seen or heard during the initial encoding phase.
Several of the recoding processes, like forming associations between memories, can happen without our awareness. This is one reason people can sometimes remember events that did not actually happen—because during the process of recoding, details got added.
Participants hear lists of 15 words, like door, glass, pane, shade, ledge, sill, house, open, curtain, frame, view, breeze, sash, screen, and shutter. This second list contains some words from the first list e.
In this example, one of the words on the test is window , which—importantly—does not appear in the first list, but which is related to other words in that list. When subjects were tested, they were reasonably accurate with the studied words door , etc. The same thing happened with many other lists the authors used.
One explanation for such results is that, while students listened to items in the list, the words triggered the students to think about window , even though window was never presented.
In this way, people seem to encode events that are not actually part of their experience. Because humans are creative, we are always going beyond the information we are given: But, as with the word association mix-up above, sometimes we make false memories from our inferences—remembering the inferences themselves as if they were actual experiences. To illustrate this, Brewer gave people sentences to remember that were designed to elicit pragmatic inferences.
Inferences, in general, refer to instances when something is not explicitly stated, but we are still able to guess the undisclosed intention. Consider the statement Brewer gave her participants: Nevertheless, the pragmatic conclusion from hearing such a sentence is that the block was likely broken. Encoding—the initial registration of information—is essential in the learning and memory process. Unless an event is encoded in some fashion, it will not be successfully remembered later.
Every experience we have changes our brains. We encode each of our experiences within the structures of the nervous system, making new impressions in the process—and each of those impressions involves changes in the brain. Psychologists and neurobiologists say that experiences leave memory traces , or engrams the two terms are synonyms.
Memories have to be stored somewhere in the brain, so in order to do so, the brain biochemically alters itself and its neural tissue. The basic idea is that events occurrences in our environment create engrams through a process of consolidation: Although neurobiologists are concerned with exactly what neural processes change when memories are created, for psychologists, the term memory trace simply refers to the physical change in the nervous system whatever that may be, exactly that represents our experience.
It is important to understand that memory traces are not perfect little packets of information that lie dormant in the brain, waiting to be called forward to give an accurate report of past experience.
Memory traces are not like video or audio recordings, capturing experience with great accuracy; as discussed earlier, we often have errors in our memory, which would not exist if memory traces were perfect packets of information.
Rather, when we remember past events, we reconstruct them with the aid of our memory traces—but also with our current belief of what happened. For example, if you were trying to recall for the police who started a fight at a bar, you may not have a memory trace of who pushed whom first.
When thinking back to the start of the fight, this knowledge of how one guy was friendly to you may unconsciously influence your memory of what happened in favor of the nice guy. Thus, memory is a construction of what you actually recall and what you believe happened.
In a phrase, remembering is reconstructive we reconstruct our past with the aid of memory traces not reproductive a perfect reproduction or recreation of the past. Psychologists refer to the time between learning and testing as the retention interval. Memories can consolidate during that time, aiding retention. However, experiences can also occur that undermine the memory.
For example, think of what you had for lunch yesterday—a pretty easy task. Retroactive interference refers to new activities i. But just as newer things can interfere with remembering older things, so can the opposite happen. Proactive interference is when past memories interfere with the encoding of new ones. For example, if you have ever studied a second language, often times the grammar and vocabulary of your native language will pop into your head, impairing your fluency in the foreign language.
Retroactive interference is one of the main causes of forgetting McGeoch, For example, if you witnessed a car crash but subsequently heard people describing it from their own perspective, this new information may interfere with or disrupt your own personal recollection of the crash. In fact, you may even come to remember the event happening exactly as the others described it! This misinformation effect in eyewitness memory represents a type of retroactive interference that can occur during the retention interval see Loftus [ ] for a review.
Although interference may arise between the occurrence of an event and the attempt to recall it, the effect itself is always expressed when we retrieve memories , the topic to which we turn next. Why should retrieval be given more prominence than encoding or storage? For one thing, if information were encoded and stored but could not be retrieved, it would be useless.
As discussed previously in this module, we encode and store thousands of events—conversations, sights and sounds—every day, creating memory traces. Most of our memories will never be used—in the sense of being brought back to mind, consciously. This fact seems so obvious that we rarely reflect on it. All those events that happened to you in the fourth grade that seemed so important then? Now, many years later, you would struggle to remember even a few. You may wonder if the traces of those memories still exist in some latent form.
Unfortunately, with currently available methods, it is impossible to know. Available information is the information that is stored in memory—but precisely how much and what types are stored cannot be known. That is, all we can know is what information we can retrieve— accessible information. The assumption is that accessible information represents only a tiny slice of the information available in our brains.
Most of us have had the experience of trying to remember some fact or event, giving up, and then—all of a sudden! Similarly, we all know the experience of failing to recall a fact, but then, if we are given several choices as in a multiple-choice test , we are easily able to recognize it. What factors determine what information can be retrieved from memory? One critical factor is the type of hints, or cues , in the environment. You may hear a song on the radio that suddenly evokes memories of an earlier time in your life, even if you were not trying to remember it when the song came on.
Nevertheless, the song is closely associated with that time, so it brings the experience to mind. For example, take the song on the radio:
Retrieval of information from long-term memory.
“Memory is the process of maintaining information over time. to the structures and processes involved in the storage and subsequent retrieval of information. May 22, The process of forming and retrieving memories is comprised of three distinct Sensory memory is the storage of information that lasts only. Memory retrieval is the process of remembering information stored in long-term memory. Some theorists suggests that there are three stores of memory: sensory .