Article:Cognitive Information Processing
continuation from http://wiki.unthinkmedia.com/index.php/Article:Information_Processing_2
Episodic memory, is a memory of a specific event. For example i have an episodic memory of learning how to swim, because being tossed into the deep end of the pool as a young child is pretty memorable.
Semantic memories are the miscellaneous information stored in memory that can be recalled independently then how it was learned. An example of this is how I learned to wash laundry, I don't recall the event where i learned the skill, but I still remember the skill.
Representation and Storage
Network Models of LTM
The Network Model describes Long Term Memory as a web of nodes similar to a concept map. Each node is connected by relationships.
This model states that predictions could be made on memory tasks and speed of retrieval. According to this model the speed at which a learner could verify if a sentence is true, is directly correlated to the degrees of depth in the concept map.
The problem with this model shows up with the variance of recognition time between "a canary is a bird" and "a penguin is a bird".
Feature Comparison Models of LTM
I see Feature Comparisons as a folksonomy of descriptors that represent a set of concept features. In order to validate a sentence such as "a canary is a bird" a learner would query all feature label for both canary and bird, and match them against each other. If a significant amount of labels match, then the sentence is true.
These sets are bloated and can't account for "fuzzy sets", where some concepts are better examples then other. For example, a bird has feathers, beak, and flies, a canary would pass quickly, however a penguin hat swims might take a little extra time to process.
Propositional Models of LTM
Propositional Models represent memory as a network of propositions. A proposition consist of a combination of concepts that contain a subject and a predicate. So instead of "bird" taking up a node in memory, it is swapped out for "bird has wings".
An interesting experiment is by seeing how people recall and play back the sentence, "The blue heron, a tall bird with a long neck and long legs, can usually be found in a marshy area near the water". Typical recall will sound like, "The blue heron is a tall bird. It has long legs and a long neck. It lives near water."
The fear with this model is that is so complex that it may be impossible definitely to test or falsify.
Parallel Distribution Processing (PDP) Models of LTM
This suggest that multiple cognitive processes happen simultaneously, as apposed to strictly serially. There are three basic principles in Parallel Distribution Processing (PDP) Models
Subsymbolic units of processing represent the memory. Due to the incremental nature of human learning these representations work well. This allows you to constantly readjust the weight of each connection.
Dual-Code Models of LTM
In Dual-Coding both visual and verbal information are processed differently and along distinct channels with the human mind creating separate representations for information processed in each channel.
Retrieval of Learned Information
Information that makes it to persons long term memory is either retrieved for use, store for later, or simply forgetting. There are many reasons why a person may retrieve information. Two types of retrieval are "recall" and "recognition".
With recall, a student must generate an answer for a task, an example of this might be an essay question. The question may be loaded with cue's to help the student "recall" and make connections to the content.
Recognition, already provides a student with possible answers, similar to a multiple choice question. The conditions that are factored into these decisions.
- the strength of the memory trace
- the context, or repercussion surrounding the decision.
Whatever cues a learner used to retain the information would also work well to retrieve it.
- students did better when test where given in the same place they learned the content being tested
- if was happy when learning content, then matching the emotion during test time might help in retrieval. (sounds like a stretch)
Failure to encode
Sometime the information that you are attempting to retrieve was never encoded, hence never learned. This is a typical issue with student that have poor study strategies. They fail to understand that retaining what they are being taught, is more about the quality and effective use of their learning strategies, and has little to do with the amount of total time. Repetition works to a limited capacity.
Failure to retrieve
There are also situation when a learner is not able to retrieve information. This might be due to a lack of cues, and connections to other knowledge. The more entries to the information, the more you increase the chances of retrieving something. Note taking is one a typical strategy used by students. By elaborating on their notes they may perform better.
Sometimes there is interference that makes it difficult to retrieve information. Interference could take various events and competing information. For example, information that was just learned may interfere with information that was learned a year ago. The book's example is of a tennis player that start to play racquetball. Since this player's tennis swing has been ingrained into his mind, remembering to swing with only his wrist is challenging.
Strategies for enhancing Metacognition
Metacognition, also known as "knowing about knowing", self regulatory knowledge about when and how to use particular strategies for learning or for problem solving.
Some of the strategies include:
- Elaborate on new information with examples that are meaningful to you
- Take notes in your own words
- Encode information using multiple modalities
- Chunk information into manageable segments.