Memory Previous Studies Suggested That Memory Passes Term Paper

Pages: 6 (1562 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children


Previous studies suggested that memory passes three stages, namely, stabilizing, enhancing and modifying; that long-term memories occur after the first year of life; that sleep is absolutely necessary in the formation of lasting memories; that unpleasant memories can be forgotten by allowing the mind to adapt to the situation; and that it is as yet uncertain if memory loss progresses with menopause or the depletion of estrogen in women. Most of the subjects of the present experiment had correct recall of the words list, even on delayed recall, of the schema with or without context and recalled better with sleep, as emphasized by the results of previous studies on the subject.

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Findings of a new research unravel the three distinct stages of a memory, how memories endure or vanish (Walker 2003). These stages are the stabilizing, the enhancing and the modifying of a memory. In the first stage, the memory or experience is created in the brain, stabilized and then saved like computer files but, unlike computer files, the memory needs six waking hours to become stabilized. The second stage happens during a full night's sleep, on which the enhancement of memory is absolutely dependent, and underscores the significance of sleep to the learning process. And the third stage is the recall phase, wherein the memory that has been stabilized and enhanced can be modified. These findings were drawn from a new research conducted with 100 young subjects, aged 18 to 27 in several finger-tapping sequences at various intervals and points in the sleep-wake cycle. The research, conducted at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, focused on procedural skill memory, the type that enables the learning of coordination-based skills, like driving, sports, playing musical instruments and surgical procedure (Walker).

TOPIC: Term Paper on Memory Previous Studies Suggested That Memory Passes Assignment

Another study showed that, while babies' capacity to remember vastly increases between 8 and 12 months, long-term memory is not established until after the first year of life (Cromie 2003). Harvard senior Conor Liston and his mentor and Starch Research Professor of Psychology Jerome Kagan discovered from their study on three groups of children 9, 17 and 24 months old that the human brain before the first year is too immature to firmly record experiences and that from 17 to 21 months, it has developed enough to remember and retrieve them. Enormous and still increasing amounts of data reveal that the human brain continues to grow after birth, particularly the cells in the frontal lobe and in the hippocampus, which are necessary for the formation of long-term memories. Liston and Kagan performed the necessary experiments under the Children's Initiative and the Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative programs at the Provost's Office at Harvard. Liston demonstrated different games to the 12 subject 9-month-old and 17-and-24-month-old children, left them and returned four months later. Results showed that those children who were between 9 and 17 months at the time of the demonstration performed much more proficiently than the rest because of the stage of brain development they were in at the time. This discovery is valuable to families that adopt babies, especially from other countries, and are concerned that these babies would find adjustment to another culture difficult. The researchers pointed out that, if the babies are adopted younger than 8 months, it is likeliest that they would have no lasting memories of their early experiences. The findings were published in the October 31 issue of the Nature Journal (Crowie).

New studies on how people learn perceptual and motor skills suggest that registering long-term memories does not happen all at once but may form and reform with sleep (Bower 2003). Building such memories depends on sleep. Knowledge is first formed and dips immediately afterwards, with a good night's sleep reviving much of what was forgotten. Recall of the learned skill the next day either destabilizes or reinforces the memory and sets the stage either for its retention or destruction. This new position counters the time-honored belief that lasting memories essentially develop all at once and do not require sleep. But neuroscientist Karim Nader of McGill University in Montreal, Canada first suspected that memory is a process of storage and re-storage. He and psychologist Daniel Margoliash of the University of Chicago tested 84 college students to identify similar-sounding words from a synthetic-speech machine. Their findings showed that sleep saves memories that begin to deteriorate the day before. Even brief naps may prevent the decline of performance after learning perceptual skills (Bower).

A fourth study performed by Professor Michael Anderson of the University of Oregon on participants, who were asked to memorize 40-word pairs, found that those who tried to suppress the memories eventually forgot them, even when offered clues or bribed to remember (Bode 2001). Anderson interprets the findings to mean that people who are forced to recall unwanted memories find ways to adapt to the situation. He, however, clarified that these findings do not necessarily imply that people eventually forget trauma, but that these have value only on the positive aspect of forgetting. He stressed that the inability to push out outdated or painful information could damage concentration and one's well-being (Bode).

Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine Peter Meyer of the Rush University in Chicago and his colleagues administered memory tests to 803 42-52-year-old African-American and non-Hispanic white women from the Chicago area for six years to determine if memory loss progresses with menopause (Yale-New Haven Hospital 2003). Estrogen level is lower in this age range and the study was an attempt at establishing its connection with memory problems. The Chicago area was the choice because of the occurrence of a cross section of ethnic groups that span the full socioeconomic span. The researchers were surprised that the younger subjects of the study scored better as they began transition through menopause, although this could mean merely that they were better at the tests after taking them over the years. Nothing in the findings explained the low scores obtained by the older subjects. What these findings have in store for menopausal women are especially important because of their decision as to whether to take hormone replacement therapy or not and in the face of the consensus that midlife menopausal women who take HRT have demonstrated better oral reading and verbal memory performance (Yale-New Haven Hospital).

Psychological Laboratory Report - Experiment was conducted on 11 students, 4 male and 7 female, on recall of a words list, delayed recall, recognition, and context of a schema (kite flying). Findings showed higher scores in correct recall of the words list at 6.454545, correct delayed recall at 5.636364, correct recognition at 5.27272727, with context at 2.636364, correct no context at 1.454545, yes sleep of List A at 0.7272727 and yes rough of List B. at.72727. These also revealed the greater effect of context on memory at 2.1 correct number of elements recalled, 8 out of the 11 students who recalled sleep, and recalled rough.

Mean scores showed 5 correct recall, 2 correct delayed recall of the words list 1, 3 correct recognition of the words list, 2.636364 correct context of schema and 1.454545 correct no context scheme. Minimum scores were 5 correct call, 2 correct of delayed recall, 3 correct recognition and 0 for both correct and incorrect context of the schema, 0 for the correct and incorrect no context of the schema, 0 for yes and no sleep for List A and 0 for yes and no rough for List A. Maximum scores were 9 correct call of words list 1, 9 correct delayed recall of words list, 6 correct context of schema, 5 correct of no context schema, 1 yes sleep to List A and 1 yes rough to List B. Standard deviation scores were 1.437399 for correct recall of the words list 1, 2.384523 correct delayed recall of words list 1, 1.924183 incorrect recognition of words list 1,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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