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Can overload of information affect short term memory?

Can overload of information affect short term memory?


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Can stress affect short term memory? If one is overloaded with a lot of information, can their short term memory be affected?


If you look at overloading from overuse of directed attention then I would say yes, and I would say yes it does lead to fatigue and stress, which is why you need to redress with Attention Restoration Therapy (Kaplan and Kaplan, 1989, & Kaplan, 1985). If we look at an extreme example of stress, PTSD, then I would say yes it affects our cognitive abilities (Richard S, Lazarus and Judith Blackfield Cohen, 1977; Dowhrenwend, 2010).


Introduction

Breaks filled with different break activities often interweave cognitive performance in daily life. Breaks can provide respite from task-induced fatigue [1], and may enhance ongoing task performance [2, 3]. However, previous research indicates that different types of breaks, such as playing video games or listening to music, may also have deteriorating effects on ongoing tasks such as learning [4], decision-making [5], target detection [6], and working memory [7]. In particular, break activities that involve high levels of executive control and exert tension rather than relaxation seem to be more likely to affect cognitive performance negatively in the short-term [6–8]. Prior behavioural studies have identified break activities that affected executive functioning, but have not examined neural mechanisms underlying these effects [6–8]. The primary objective of this study is to investigate the neural mechanisms of effects of three typical break activities, resting, listening to music, and video gaming on executive function in a working memory updating task. Research on the effects of taking a complete wakeful rest break (restful break) from an ongoing task indicates that a restful break may improve task performance due to a positive effect on vigilance resources [6, 9]. In memory tasks, a possible performance enhancing effect of restful breaks has been attributed to the consolidation of new information [2, 3] through the reactivation of neural activities linked to recent experiences [3, 10]. Likewise, listening to music plays a critical role in preventing the mental fatigue [11] associated with improving performance in spatial reasoning and other cognitive tasks [12, 13]. More recent research, however, suggests that beneficial effects of music are rather mediated by relaxation and mood enhancement than being a specific and unique effect of classical music in itself [14]. Thalamus in the limbic system of the brain is associated with changes in emotional reactivity induced by music [11]. Research on the effects of video gaming on cognitive task performance suggests on the one hand that certain types of video gaming may enhance perceptual, attentional and cognitive skills [15, 16]. On the other hand, video games have been linked to negative effects, such as gaming-induced physiological stress [8] and impaired concentration [17] that may lead to decrements in cognitive performance.

Playing video games demand on executive control resources, which is likely to lead to a resource depleting effect of the video game on the subsequent working memory task. Thus, in line with our previous behavioural study [7], we hypothesized that video-gaming compared to restful break and listening to music would impair working memory updating (3-back) task performance. We expect that this effect would be modulated by subjective ratings of relaxation/tension and physiological arousal [18, 19] as previous research suggests that these factors may modulate effects of listening to music [14] and playing video games [8] on cognitive performance.

As frontal brain regions within the working memory network (mainly dorsolateral prefrontal cortex [DLPFC] and supplementary motor area [SMA]) have been frequently associated with executive control functioning (e.g. updating) within working memory [20–23], we expect reduced activations in these regions during the 3-back performance following a short interval of video gaming compared to a restful break and listening to music.


Improve Short-Term Memory With Sleep

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep issues. (28)

Getting 8 hours of sleep is not an indulgence it’s critical for your health and mental well-being.

Lack of quality sleep will impair your memory, creativity, judgment, and attention.

It’s during sleep that your brain consolidates memories, filters out metabolic debris, and repairs and creates new brain cells.

This is also when your brain moves memories from short-term storage into long-term storage, clearing the deck for the next day. (29)

Sleep deprivation sharply decreases the amount of information that can be held in short-term memory.

Normally, we can remember about 4 bits of information at a time.

But when you don’t get enough sleep, that number decreases to 1 or 2. (30)

The millions of Americans who suffer from sleep apnea face an additional hazard to their brains.

During sleep, their brains do not get adequate oxygen.

This leads to a loss of brain cells in the hippocampus, where short-term memories are temporarily stored. (31)

Not sure if you’ve got sleep apnea?

The most obvious signs are loud snoring and waking up choking or gasping for breath.

Often you won’t remember these episodes, so your sleeping partner will be the one to tell you.


Short-term Stress Can Affect Learning And Memory

Short-term stress lasting as little as a few hours can impair brain-cell communication in areas associated with learning and memory, University of California, Irvine researchers have found.

It has been known that severe stress lasting weeks or months can impair cell communication in the brain's learning and memory region, but this study provides the first evidence that short-term stress has the same effect.

"Stress is a constant in our lives and cannot be avoided," said Dr. Tallie Z. Baram, the Danette Shepard Chair in Neurological Sciences in the UC Irvine School of Medicine and study leader. "Our findings can play an important role in the current development of drugs that might prevent these undesirable effects and offer insights into why some people are forgetful or have difficulty retaining information during stressful situations."

In their study, Baram and her UC Irvine colleagues identified a novel process by which stress caused these effects. They found that rather than involving the widely known stress hormone cortisol, which circulates throughout the body, acute stress activated selective molecules called corticotropin releasing hormones, which disrupted the process by which the brain collects and stores memories.

Learning and memory take place at synapses, which are junctions through which brain cells communicate. These synapses reside on specialized branchlike protrusions on neurons called dendritic spines.

In rat and mouse studies, Baram's group saw that the release of CRH in the hippocampus, the brain's primary learning and memory center, led to the rapid disintegration of these dendritic spines, which in turn limited the ability of synapses to collect and store memories.

The researchers discovered that blocking the CRH molecules' interaction with their receptor molecules eliminated stress damage to dendritic spines in the hippocampal cells involved with learning and memory.

In addition, the authors replicated the effects of stress on dendritic spines by administering low levels of synthetic CRH, and watching how the spines retracted over minutes. "Fortunately, once we removed the CRH, the spines seemed to grow back," Baram said.

Baram also noted that there are compounds under development that show the ability to block CRH receptors, and that this study can play a role in the creation of therapies based on these compounds to address stress-related learning and memory loss.

The study appears in the March 12 edition of the Journal of Neuroscience. Yuncai Chen, Celine Dubé and Courtney Burgdorff of UC Irvine also participated in the study, which was supported by the National Institutes of Health.


Stress is a chain of reactions which begin in the amygdala – your brain’s emotional distress center.

When you experience something stressful, your amygdala kicks into high gear and sends signals to the hypothalamus.

Hypothalamus then relays this signal to the rest of your body. This tells your body it’s time to fight or flee.

This ‘flight-or-fight’ reaction causes your adrenals to produce adrenaline. Adrenaline, in turn, increases your heart rate, slows down the metabolism, and constricts your blood vessels – preparing you to deal with the stressor.

Your blood sugar levels also shoot up to fill your muscles with glycogen for energy.


Memory And Gender Effect

Memory is defined as the faculty by which sense impressions and information are kept in mind and recalled later. The ability of a person to remember and store retained full mental impressions and knowledge also make memory. "We all have interior our heads a clearance, store and get data that exceeds the capability of better gear, flexibility and speed. However, the same system is so limited and unreliable it cannot always remember a nine-digit phone number long enough to dial ". (Hoyt 1999)

The examination of human behavior reveals that current efforts are inevitably linked by memories. General "competent" requires that the behavior of some past events have an effect on the influences on the present. For example, touching a hot stove could cause a burn and therefore the memory to transmit a message not to repeat. All this is accomplished through the development of short-term memory (STM) and long-term memory (LTM). Memories can be positive, like memories of brides and special events, or may be negative, such as repressed memories. The sexual abuse of children and adolescents are known to cause serious psychological and emotional damage. (Ji 2000)

Adults who were sexually abused in childhood are at increased risk of developing a variety of psychiatric disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders and mood disorders. To understand the key issues on the traumatic memory, the response of the human mind to a traumatic event should be inferred. The memory is composed of many different sections with each of the consequences different from each other. Do people remember what they were wearing three days ago? Most likely not, because only memory clings to what is actively remembered. What one person was using is not important for what it is expelled and forgotten. (Goddard 1998)

This type of irrelevant information passes through the short-term memory. "The short-term memory is a system for storing information for short periods of time." is the main feature is the exploitation and understanding of limited amounts of information. The system can capture brief ideas that would otherwise fall into oblivion, keep them, relate and understand that for their own purposes. Another facet of STM was presented by William James in 1890, under the title "primary memory". (Loftus 2002)

Primary memory refers to information that is the current focus and took the train of thought. “Compared with short-term recollection, major recollection places less emphasis on time and more emphasis on the parts of the care, treatment and exploitation. No matter what you call it, this system is used when someone hears a phone number and remembers it long enough to write. (Finkenauer 1998)

Luckily, a phone number has seven digits or else no one would be able to remember. Most people can remember six or seven digits, while others only four or five and some nine or ten. This is measured by a technique called the digit span, developed by a school teacher in London, J. Jacobs, in .


Factors that can impair your memory

The list of factors and conditions that can impair your memory is extensive but remarkably, most of them can be changed, or are firmly under your control. The simplest changes cause the most noticeable results — improving your diet, supplementing with key nutrients, doing regular exercise, and getting plenty of sleep.

Find out now if your memory is being helped or hurt by the choices you’re making every day.

Aging
The aging process can harm certain aspects of memory and others not at all. Studies have shown that older adults, in general, show a gradual decline in working memory, also known as short term memory, or STM. Information processing speed and the ability to concentrate in the face of distractions also decreases as we get up in years. However, plenty of people retain their steel-trap memories well into their 70s, 80s, and beyond.

Distractibility
Being distracted by something during your brain’s memory-making process can prevent the information in a STM from becoming a long-term memory, or an LTM. Distractions interrupt the working memory part of STM, which only holds onto a limited amount of information even under the best circumstances.

Sleep issues
Most of us have experienced memory lapses when we stay up too late but the amount of sleep you get isn’t as important is good it is. In a recent study in the UK, people with poor quality sleep had physical changes — shrinkage, atrophy and deterioration — to key parts of their brains involved in memory. When you’re asleep your brain’s hippocampus replays and processes everything that happened to you that day for the neocortex. The neocortex then reviews and processes that information so you can recall it in the future. If you don’t sleep well, memories get stuck in the hippocampus instead of making it to the prefrontal cortex, and that leads to forgetfulness and difficulty remembering names.

Nutritional deficiencies
Being deficient in key vitamins and other nutrients interferes with optimal memory. Science has shown that not getting enough of vitamins B 12, B1, B6 and B9 leads to memory loss, and the evidence is also mounting that low vitamin D is associated with cognitive impairment.

Hormonal imbalances
Your hormones carry essential messages that control and influence how your body and brain function. That’s why imbalances can wreak havoc on both the memory-making and recall processes.

  • Thyroid disorders and imbalances
    Low or sluggish thyroid function can decrease production of certain memory-regulating hormones, sometimes leading to temporary dementia-like symptoms.
  • Sex hormone imbalances
    • In women: women near menopause often report having memory issues and fuzzy thinking, and research confirms an association between the two. One US study found that the more hot flashes a woman has, the worse her “recollection of names, words, paragraphs and stories.” Unfortunately, women are so accustomed to enduring menopause symptoms that they don’t make this connection and blame themselves.
    • In men: testosterone levels decrease as men get older just as memory issues begin to pop up. Some research shows that low testosterone may be associated with cognitive changes like memory loss. We don’t know yet if testosterone replacement therapy can improve memory.

    Family history
    The risk of memory issues increases if a person’s parents or siblings have developed Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. This risk stays low as long as you don’t carry a genetic component of these dementias. If Alzheimer’s runs in the family, patients will typically have noticeable symptoms before the age of 65.

    Diet
    Since memory is considered “the most fragile mental function” it’s easily affected by your diet and food choices, particularly those that are long term patterns. Diets high in animal proteins and/or saturated fat can affect your memory. Low levels of “good” cholesterol, or HDL high-density lipoproteins, may raise your risk for memory issues and dementia later in life.

    Lack of exercise
    Studies show that not exercising can affect memory performance and contributes to diseases that raise the risk of dementias and other loss of memory.

    Chronic pain
    Ongoing pain — no matter the cause — has been shown to disrupt both memory and attention.

    Can walking through a doorway make you forget?

    Yes — and research has proven it. Your brain tends to compartmentalize information by location. That makes it harder to recall something associated with the kitchen if you’re not there. When you cross the threshold from one room to another, it sends a signal to your brain that may flush previous information as you adapt to being in the new room. Researchers like to call doorways “event erasers.”
    Tip: Saying things out loud as you walk through the doorway can help stop this erasing effect.

    Medications
    Certain prescription drugs, like benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, etc.) and some antidepressants can
    cloud memory. Other less obvious drugs sometimes affect memory negatively, at least in certain people. These include statins, antihistamines like Benadryl, Tylenol PM, high blood pressure meds, steroid medications, and sleeping pills. No matter what prescribed drugs you’re taking, don’t stop taking them medication without speaking to your doctor first.

    Smoking
    Smoking tobacco drastically reduces the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain with sobering effects. Smokers “lose one third of their everyday memory as compared to non-smokers,” according to one study. This effect disappears if you quit smoking.

    Substance abuse
    Both alcohol and drug overuse and abuse can impair your memory.

    Illnesses
    Illnesses and medical conditions that affect circulation reduce the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain, including heart disease and stroke. Obviously Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia (of which there are many types) can ruin one’s ability to remember. Surprisingly, urinary tract infections can lead to confusion and memory issues in older people. 

    Emotional issues
    Depression and anxiety have been linked to short-term memory issues. In most cases the effects are considered temporary and reversible if the depression or anxiety problem is resolved. A condition called “pseudodementia” can occur in people following the onset of depression, along with dementia-like symptoms like forgetfulness and disorientation. Other emotional situations can also reduce memory abilities, including grief, loneliness and traumatic events.

    Stress
    Stress has diverse effects on memory: it can heighten it under some conditions and impair normal memory function under others. Some studies show that the stress hormone, cortisol, can be the source of problem with memory retrieval aside from the stress itself.

    Injury
    Traumatic brain injury can wipe out memory both temporarily and permanently, depending on the natural and extensiveness of the damage.

    If forgetfulness is becoming an issue for you, learn more about the nutrients your brain needs for good memory function.


    Psychology Essays – Short Term Memory Recall

    The Effects of Chunking and Distraction on Short Term Memory Recall.

    Best services for writing your paper according to Trustpilot

    This report aimed to investigate the effects of distraction and chunking on short term memory performance. A serial recall task was used to investigate this in a sample of 20 male and female undergraduate student in a within subject design. This data was analysed with a two way repeated measures ANOVA and the results show that there are significant improvements in recall when the items are chucked. In addition there is a significant deterioration in recall following the distraction technique. However, there are no interaction effects between these factors. These findings are discussed in terms of potential means of improving short term memory.

    It is generally accepted that there are three different memory systems sensory memory, short term memory and long term memory. These distinctions were first defined by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1971). Sensory memory is that which holds information from the senses for up to several seconds at the most. Short-term memory in contrast, is whatever we are thinking about at any given moment and has a relatively rapid input and retrieval. Miller (1965) argued that human short term memory has a span of approximately seven items, plus or minus two. Finally, long term memory is the permanent memory system which has a virtually unlimited capacity but takes longer to retrieve and to store (Baddeley, 1990).

    Evidence suggests that short-term memory is primarily phonological involving an articulatory loop of rehersal in working memory (Baddeley, 1990), whereas long term memory relies primarily on the semantic code (Baddeley, 1990).

    It is well known that there is both a primacy and a recency effects in short term memory. This means that there is an improved recall of words at both the start and at the end of the presentation list whereas there will be more information lost from the middle of the presentation.

    There are two theories concering the loss of information in short term memory. The decay theory proposes that loss is the result of trace decay, e.g. the simple automatic fading of the memory. Whereas the inference theory proposes that the forgetting is caused by other information getting in the way. One of the main ways to assess this has been to impose a distraction technique during or after the items which are to be memorized. For example Wolach and Pratt (2000) studied the effects of both phonological and noise ditracters on short term momory recall and showed that both distracters negatively affected the memorization process. The stronger that the distracter was to the material to be memorised than the more severe this effect was.

    The recency effect is greater for auditory than visually presented material. This is called the modality effects. It has been shown that if an irrelevant item is spoken at the end of a list, the recency effect is reduced for auditory but not for visually presented lists. This is called the suffix effect.

    Many other factors can adversely affect short term memory recall. For example, Banbury, Macken, Tremblay and Jones (2001) studied the effects verbal distractions on short term memory. The degree of interference was related to the properties of the sound specifically and even quiet background sounds have a negative effect upon recall. The word frequency and the rate of presentation are also influential in short term memory recall as is presentation type. For example Frankish (1985) found that there was a substantial recall advantage for grouped lists with auditory but not with visual presentation.

    One of the other most important factors to influence short term memory recall is that of chunking. The process of chunking was originally defined by De Groot (1956) and Miller (1956). A chunk is simply defined as a collection of elements having strong associations with one another but weal associations with other chunks (Gobet et al, 2001). An example of a chunk is illustrated below.

    The second example is easier to recall as it is more meaningful, containing an internal structure. The components DOG, HAT and CUP can much more easily be committed to memory than the unconnected letters. Humans tend to use the process of chunking spontaneously (e.g. writing down telephone numbers). This has been termed goal orrientated chunking (e.g. a conscious process) while there is also a perceptual or non-conscious form of chunking (Gobet et al, 2001). This adoption of some form of grouping strategy when presented with unstructured list makes rehearsal easier and utilises primacy and recency effects within groups.

    However, the effects of chunking are modality dependent. For example, inserting pauses improves memory for spoken but not written sequences and using a different tone of voice may also help to improve recall (Frankish, 1989)Many studies have attempted to identify the mechanisms by which chunks are created, restored and retrived. It is important to study chunking as it is sure to underly many aspects of human learning.

    Individuals with defective short terms memory systems have told us a lot about memory and illustrate the need for continued research in this field. An example is that of a patient referred to as HM, who developed an incapacity learn new material (Milner 1966). HM underwent surgery to remove portions of his temporal lobes to stop the seizures he had suffered from since a child. The surgery was successful in this respect but afterwards HM could not maintain normal short term memory for more than a minute despite a perfectly good long term memory for events which happened before the surgery. Specifically he lacked the ability to transfer new short term memories into long term ones. He could repeat information for many minutes, but if distracted, even briefly, he would forgot. HM is not an isolated case and thus the role of the temporal lobes is clearly essential in human memory.

    This study therefore aims to assess the effects of the chunking of items and the presence of a distracter technique prior to recall on short term memory.It is hypothesised that chunked items without a distraction will facilitate greater recall than chunked items followed by a distraction. In addition it is hypothesised that chunked items without distraction will result in greater recall than non chunked items with a distraction. Overall, chunked items will be more successful in terms of recall then non chunked items and the presence of the distracter will result in a deterioration in recall.

    The null hypothesis, therefore infers that there will be no difference in recall between the conditions.

    Participants were 20 male and female undergraduate students, aged between 18-19 years who participated voluntarily. The sample is highly female biased (15 female and 5 males were recruited). Each participant completed each condition once. The conditions were counterbalanced to prevent the possibility of learning effects.

    There were two types of recall stimuli used within this study. The first were chunks which have a similar theme, for example animals (e.g. cat, dog, zebra, mouse, cow, parrott, etc) or colours (e.g. Yellow Green Orange Pink White, etc). The second type were non chunked or unrelated items (for example Cat Red Apple Daisy Nurse Cabbage Table Stockholm Arm).

    There were ten lists in each category each of which contained nine items, thus the maximum score it was possible to gain in each condition was 90. A full list of the chunks used can be observed in Appendix One.

    Each list was presented visually for a total of 15 timed seconds. The order of presentation of these lists was also counterbalanced to avoid the possibility of presentation effects. Following presentation participants were asked to recall as many of the items as they could utilising a free recall design. i.e. in any order they like. Participant were given one minute ti recall as many items as possible in written form.

    Following recall the next set of items was presented immediately afterwards.

    The distraction technique will take the form of a verbal distracter which was the reading out of ten random numbers (between one-nine) the experimenter following the presentation of the lists, prior to recall.


    Chronic stress leads to brain inflammation and memory loss

    People who experience chronic stress due to bullying or a tough job also run a higher risk of memory loss, according to a new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

    Share on Pinterest People who are constantly stressed by bullying or a difficult job may be prone to short-term memory loss, too.

    Previous studies have connected chronic stress with long-term anxiety.

    Researchers led by Jonathan Godbout, associate professor of neuroscience at Ohio State University, investigated the relationship between prolonged stress and short-term memory loss in mice.

    Ultimately, the researchers hope the findings will help people who live with ongoing stress.

    The team had mice get used to a maze with an escape hole. They then exposed the mice to repeat visits from a larger, aggressive intruder mouse.

    Mice that repeatedly had to confront the intruder found it harder to remember the location of the escape hole, whereas the mice that were not stressed were able to find it.

    The problems resolved within 28 days, but until then, the mice showed evidence of social avoidance, a measure of depressive behavior.

    The inability to remember coincided with measurable changes in the mice’s brains. Immune cells, or macrophages, appeared in the brains of the stressed mice, indicating that inflammation had resulted from the immune system’s response to the stress.

    Moreover, focus on the hippocampus, a hub of memory and emotional response, revealed shortfalls in the development of new neurons at 10 and 28 days after the stressful period ended.

    The team concludes that the short-term memory loss is linked to brain inflammation and the immune system.

    John Sheridan, associate director of Ohio State’s Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, explains: “Stress releases immune cells from the bone marrow, and those cells can traffic to brain areas associated with neuronal activation in response to stress. They’re being called to the brain, to the center of memory.”

    This experience of repeated dominance by an alpha mouse and persistent social defeat will be familiar to many people who live with chronic psychosocial stress.

    The scientists hope that a better understanding of stress and cognitive and mood problems could help create strategies for those whose daily lives involve anxiety, depression and ongoing problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder. One solution could be to find a way to interrupt the inflammation.

    “ The impact on memory and confirmation that the brain inflammation is caused by the immune system are important new discoveries. It’s possible we could identify targets that we can treat pharmacologically or behaviorally.”

    Medical News Today reported recently that being overweight or obese can affect the memory.


    Conclusion

    The human brain is made up of complicated computing processes. Here every brain is different from another and works completely different ways. One aspect of memory formation every scientist agrees on is that it is not a perfect process. Many factors can affect memories. These factors can be intentional and accidental. They affect the development and storage of memories.

    Various states of brain functions like consciousness, attention, and arousal determine how the subject will experience any event. It is believed that perception, learning, and thought processes play an important role in memory storage in the brain.


    Introduction

    Breaks filled with different break activities often interweave cognitive performance in daily life. Breaks can provide respite from task-induced fatigue [1], and may enhance ongoing task performance [2, 3]. However, previous research indicates that different types of breaks, such as playing video games or listening to music, may also have deteriorating effects on ongoing tasks such as learning [4], decision-making [5], target detection [6], and working memory [7]. In particular, break activities that involve high levels of executive control and exert tension rather than relaxation seem to be more likely to affect cognitive performance negatively in the short-term [6–8]. Prior behavioural studies have identified break activities that affected executive functioning, but have not examined neural mechanisms underlying these effects [6–8]. The primary objective of this study is to investigate the neural mechanisms of effects of three typical break activities, resting, listening to music, and video gaming on executive function in a working memory updating task. Research on the effects of taking a complete wakeful rest break (restful break) from an ongoing task indicates that a restful break may improve task performance due to a positive effect on vigilance resources [6, 9]. In memory tasks, a possible performance enhancing effect of restful breaks has been attributed to the consolidation of new information [2, 3] through the reactivation of neural activities linked to recent experiences [3, 10]. Likewise, listening to music plays a critical role in preventing the mental fatigue [11] associated with improving performance in spatial reasoning and other cognitive tasks [12, 13]. More recent research, however, suggests that beneficial effects of music are rather mediated by relaxation and mood enhancement than being a specific and unique effect of classical music in itself [14]. Thalamus in the limbic system of the brain is associated with changes in emotional reactivity induced by music [11]. Research on the effects of video gaming on cognitive task performance suggests on the one hand that certain types of video gaming may enhance perceptual, attentional and cognitive skills [15, 16]. On the other hand, video games have been linked to negative effects, such as gaming-induced physiological stress [8] and impaired concentration [17] that may lead to decrements in cognitive performance.

    Playing video games demand on executive control resources, which is likely to lead to a resource depleting effect of the video game on the subsequent working memory task. Thus, in line with our previous behavioural study [7], we hypothesized that video-gaming compared to restful break and listening to music would impair working memory updating (3-back) task performance. We expect that this effect would be modulated by subjective ratings of relaxation/tension and physiological arousal [18, 19] as previous research suggests that these factors may modulate effects of listening to music [14] and playing video games [8] on cognitive performance.

    As frontal brain regions within the working memory network (mainly dorsolateral prefrontal cortex [DLPFC] and supplementary motor area [SMA]) have been frequently associated with executive control functioning (e.g. updating) within working memory [20–23], we expect reduced activations in these regions during the 3-back performance following a short interval of video gaming compared to a restful break and listening to music.


    Improve Short-Term Memory With Sleep

    According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep issues. (28)

    Getting 8 hours of sleep is not an indulgence it’s critical for your health and mental well-being.

    Lack of quality sleep will impair your memory, creativity, judgment, and attention.

    It’s during sleep that your brain consolidates memories, filters out metabolic debris, and repairs and creates new brain cells.

    This is also when your brain moves memories from short-term storage into long-term storage, clearing the deck for the next day. (29)

    Sleep deprivation sharply decreases the amount of information that can be held in short-term memory.

    Normally, we can remember about 4 bits of information at a time.

    But when you don’t get enough sleep, that number decreases to 1 or 2. (30)

    The millions of Americans who suffer from sleep apnea face an additional hazard to their brains.

    During sleep, their brains do not get adequate oxygen.

    This leads to a loss of brain cells in the hippocampus, where short-term memories are temporarily stored. (31)

    Not sure if you’ve got sleep apnea?

    The most obvious signs are loud snoring and waking up choking or gasping for breath.

    Often you won’t remember these episodes, so your sleeping partner will be the one to tell you.


    Short-term Stress Can Affect Learning And Memory

    Short-term stress lasting as little as a few hours can impair brain-cell communication in areas associated with learning and memory, University of California, Irvine researchers have found.

    It has been known that severe stress lasting weeks or months can impair cell communication in the brain's learning and memory region, but this study provides the first evidence that short-term stress has the same effect.

    "Stress is a constant in our lives and cannot be avoided," said Dr. Tallie Z. Baram, the Danette Shepard Chair in Neurological Sciences in the UC Irvine School of Medicine and study leader. "Our findings can play an important role in the current development of drugs that might prevent these undesirable effects and offer insights into why some people are forgetful or have difficulty retaining information during stressful situations."

    In their study, Baram and her UC Irvine colleagues identified a novel process by which stress caused these effects. They found that rather than involving the widely known stress hormone cortisol, which circulates throughout the body, acute stress activated selective molecules called corticotropin releasing hormones, which disrupted the process by which the brain collects and stores memories.

    Learning and memory take place at synapses, which are junctions through which brain cells communicate. These synapses reside on specialized branchlike protrusions on neurons called dendritic spines.

    In rat and mouse studies, Baram's group saw that the release of CRH in the hippocampus, the brain's primary learning and memory center, led to the rapid disintegration of these dendritic spines, which in turn limited the ability of synapses to collect and store memories.

    The researchers discovered that blocking the CRH molecules' interaction with their receptor molecules eliminated stress damage to dendritic spines in the hippocampal cells involved with learning and memory.

    In addition, the authors replicated the effects of stress on dendritic spines by administering low levels of synthetic CRH, and watching how the spines retracted over minutes. "Fortunately, once we removed the CRH, the spines seemed to grow back," Baram said.

    Baram also noted that there are compounds under development that show the ability to block CRH receptors, and that this study can play a role in the creation of therapies based on these compounds to address stress-related learning and memory loss.

    The study appears in the March 12 edition of the Journal of Neuroscience. Yuncai Chen, Celine Dubé and Courtney Burgdorff of UC Irvine also participated in the study, which was supported by the National Institutes of Health.


    Chronic stress leads to brain inflammation and memory loss

    People who experience chronic stress due to bullying or a tough job also run a higher risk of memory loss, according to a new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

    Share on Pinterest People who are constantly stressed by bullying or a difficult job may be prone to short-term memory loss, too.

    Previous studies have connected chronic stress with long-term anxiety.

    Researchers led by Jonathan Godbout, associate professor of neuroscience at Ohio State University, investigated the relationship between prolonged stress and short-term memory loss in mice.

    Ultimately, the researchers hope the findings will help people who live with ongoing stress.

    The team had mice get used to a maze with an escape hole. They then exposed the mice to repeat visits from a larger, aggressive intruder mouse.

    Mice that repeatedly had to confront the intruder found it harder to remember the location of the escape hole, whereas the mice that were not stressed were able to find it.

    The problems resolved within 28 days, but until then, the mice showed evidence of social avoidance, a measure of depressive behavior.

    The inability to remember coincided with measurable changes in the mice’s brains. Immune cells, or macrophages, appeared in the brains of the stressed mice, indicating that inflammation had resulted from the immune system’s response to the stress.

    Moreover, focus on the hippocampus, a hub of memory and emotional response, revealed shortfalls in the development of new neurons at 10 and 28 days after the stressful period ended.

    The team concludes that the short-term memory loss is linked to brain inflammation and the immune system.

    John Sheridan, associate director of Ohio State’s Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, explains: “Stress releases immune cells from the bone marrow, and those cells can traffic to brain areas associated with neuronal activation in response to stress. They’re being called to the brain, to the center of memory.”

    This experience of repeated dominance by an alpha mouse and persistent social defeat will be familiar to many people who live with chronic psychosocial stress.

    The scientists hope that a better understanding of stress and cognitive and mood problems could help create strategies for those whose daily lives involve anxiety, depression and ongoing problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder. One solution could be to find a way to interrupt the inflammation.

    “ The impact on memory and confirmation that the brain inflammation is caused by the immune system are important new discoveries. It’s possible we could identify targets that we can treat pharmacologically or behaviorally.”

    Medical News Today reported recently that being overweight or obese can affect the memory.


    Stress is a chain of reactions which begin in the amygdala – your brain’s emotional distress center.

    When you experience something stressful, your amygdala kicks into high gear and sends signals to the hypothalamus.

    Hypothalamus then relays this signal to the rest of your body. This tells your body it’s time to fight or flee.

    This ‘flight-or-fight’ reaction causes your adrenals to produce adrenaline. Adrenaline, in turn, increases your heart rate, slows down the metabolism, and constricts your blood vessels – preparing you to deal with the stressor.

    Your blood sugar levels also shoot up to fill your muscles with glycogen for energy.


    Memory And Gender Effect

    Memory is defined as the faculty by which sense impressions and information are kept in mind and recalled later. The ability of a person to remember and store retained full mental impressions and knowledge also make memory. "We all have interior our heads a clearance, store and get data that exceeds the capability of better gear, flexibility and speed. However, the same system is so limited and unreliable it cannot always remember a nine-digit phone number long enough to dial ". (Hoyt 1999)

    The examination of human behavior reveals that current efforts are inevitably linked by memories. General "competent" requires that the behavior of some past events have an effect on the influences on the present. For example, touching a hot stove could cause a burn and therefore the memory to transmit a message not to repeat. All this is accomplished through the development of short-term memory (STM) and long-term memory (LTM). Memories can be positive, like memories of brides and special events, or may be negative, such as repressed memories. The sexual abuse of children and adolescents are known to cause serious psychological and emotional damage. (Ji 2000)

    Adults who were sexually abused in childhood are at increased risk of developing a variety of psychiatric disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders and mood disorders. To understand the key issues on the traumatic memory, the response of the human mind to a traumatic event should be inferred. The memory is composed of many different sections with each of the consequences different from each other. Do people remember what they were wearing three days ago? Most likely not, because only memory clings to what is actively remembered. What one person was using is not important for what it is expelled and forgotten. (Goddard 1998)

    This type of irrelevant information passes through the short-term memory. "The short-term memory is a system for storing information for short periods of time." is the main feature is the exploitation and understanding of limited amounts of information. The system can capture brief ideas that would otherwise fall into oblivion, keep them, relate and understand that for their own purposes. Another facet of STM was presented by William James in 1890, under the title "primary memory". (Loftus 2002)

    Primary memory refers to information that is the current focus and took the train of thought. “Compared with short-term recollection, major recollection places less emphasis on time and more emphasis on the parts of the care, treatment and exploitation. No matter what you call it, this system is used when someone hears a phone number and remembers it long enough to write. (Finkenauer 1998)

    Luckily, a phone number has seven digits or else no one would be able to remember. Most people can remember six or seven digits, while others only four or five and some nine or ten. This is measured by a technique called the digit span, developed by a school teacher in London, J. Jacobs, in .


    Factors that can impair your memory

    The list of factors and conditions that can impair your memory is extensive but remarkably, most of them can be changed, or are firmly under your control. The simplest changes cause the most noticeable results — improving your diet, supplementing with key nutrients, doing regular exercise, and getting plenty of sleep.

    Find out now if your memory is being helped or hurt by the choices you’re making every day.

    Aging
    The aging process can harm certain aspects of memory and others not at all. Studies have shown that older adults, in general, show a gradual decline in working memory, also known as short term memory, or STM. Information processing speed and the ability to concentrate in the face of distractions also decreases as we get up in years. However, plenty of people retain their steel-trap memories well into their 70s, 80s, and beyond.

    Distractibility
    Being distracted by something during your brain’s memory-making process can prevent the information in a STM from becoming a long-term memory, or an LTM. Distractions interrupt the working memory part of STM, which only holds onto a limited amount of information even under the best circumstances.

    Sleep issues
    Most of us have experienced memory lapses when we stay up too late but the amount of sleep you get isn’t as important is good it is. In a recent study in the UK, people with poor quality sleep had physical changes — shrinkage, atrophy and deterioration — to key parts of their brains involved in memory. When you’re asleep your brain’s hippocampus replays and processes everything that happened to you that day for the neocortex. The neocortex then reviews and processes that information so you can recall it in the future. If you don’t sleep well, memories get stuck in the hippocampus instead of making it to the prefrontal cortex, and that leads to forgetfulness and difficulty remembering names.

    Nutritional deficiencies
    Being deficient in key vitamins and other nutrients interferes with optimal memory. Science has shown that not getting enough of vitamins B 12, B1, B6 and B9 leads to memory loss, and the evidence is also mounting that low vitamin D is associated with cognitive impairment.

    Hormonal imbalances
    Your hormones carry essential messages that control and influence how your body and brain function. That’s why imbalances can wreak havoc on both the memory-making and recall processes.

    • Thyroid disorders and imbalances
      Low or sluggish thyroid function can decrease production of certain memory-regulating hormones, sometimes leading to temporary dementia-like symptoms.
    • Sex hormone imbalances
      • In women: women near menopause often report having memory issues and fuzzy thinking, and research confirms an association between the two. One US study found that the more hot flashes a woman has, the worse her “recollection of names, words, paragraphs and stories.” Unfortunately, women are so accustomed to enduring menopause symptoms that they don’t make this connection and blame themselves.
      • In men: testosterone levels decrease as men get older just as memory issues begin to pop up. Some research shows that low testosterone may be associated with cognitive changes like memory loss. We don’t know yet if testosterone replacement therapy can improve memory.

      Family history
      The risk of memory issues increases if a person’s parents or siblings have developed Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. This risk stays low as long as you don’t carry a genetic component of these dementias. If Alzheimer’s runs in the family, patients will typically have noticeable symptoms before the age of 65.

      Diet
      Since memory is considered “the most fragile mental function” it’s easily affected by your diet and food choices, particularly those that are long term patterns. Diets high in animal proteins and/or saturated fat can affect your memory. Low levels of “good” cholesterol, or HDL high-density lipoproteins, may raise your risk for memory issues and dementia later in life.

      Lack of exercise
      Studies show that not exercising can affect memory performance and contributes to diseases that raise the risk of dementias and other loss of memory.

      Chronic pain
      Ongoing pain — no matter the cause — has been shown to disrupt both memory and attention.

      Can walking through a doorway make you forget?

      Yes — and research has proven it. Your brain tends to compartmentalize information by location. That makes it harder to recall something associated with the kitchen if you’re not there. When you cross the threshold from one room to another, it sends a signal to your brain that may flush previous information as you adapt to being in the new room. Researchers like to call doorways “event erasers.”
      Tip: Saying things out loud as you walk through the doorway can help stop this erasing effect.

      Medications
      Certain prescription drugs, like benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, etc.) and some antidepressants can
      cloud memory. Other less obvious drugs sometimes affect memory negatively, at least in certain people. These include statins, antihistamines like Benadryl, Tylenol PM, high blood pressure meds, steroid medications, and sleeping pills. No matter what prescribed drugs you’re taking, don’t stop taking them medication without speaking to your doctor first.

      Smoking
      Smoking tobacco drastically reduces the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain with sobering effects. Smokers “lose one third of their everyday memory as compared to non-smokers,” according to one study. This effect disappears if you quit smoking.

      Substance abuse
      Both alcohol and drug overuse and abuse can impair your memory.

      Illnesses
      Illnesses and medical conditions that affect circulation reduce the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain, including heart disease and stroke. Obviously Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia (of which there are many types) can ruin one’s ability to remember. Surprisingly, urinary tract infections can lead to confusion and memory issues in older people. 

      Emotional issues
      Depression and anxiety have been linked to short-term memory issues. In most cases the effects are considered temporary and reversible if the depression or anxiety problem is resolved. A condition called “pseudodementia” can occur in people following the onset of depression, along with dementia-like symptoms like forgetfulness and disorientation. Other emotional situations can also reduce memory abilities, including grief, loneliness and traumatic events.

      Stress
      Stress has diverse effects on memory: it can heighten it under some conditions and impair normal memory function under others. Some studies show that the stress hormone, cortisol, can be the source of problem with memory retrieval aside from the stress itself.

      Injury
      Traumatic brain injury can wipe out memory both temporarily and permanently, depending on the natural and extensiveness of the damage.

      If forgetfulness is becoming an issue for you, learn more about the nutrients your brain needs for good memory function.


      Psychology Essays – Short Term Memory Recall

      The Effects of Chunking and Distraction on Short Term Memory Recall.

      Best services for writing your paper according to Trustpilot

      This report aimed to investigate the effects of distraction and chunking on short term memory performance. A serial recall task was used to investigate this in a sample of 20 male and female undergraduate student in a within subject design. This data was analysed with a two way repeated measures ANOVA and the results show that there are significant improvements in recall when the items are chucked. In addition there is a significant deterioration in recall following the distraction technique. However, there are no interaction effects between these factors. These findings are discussed in terms of potential means of improving short term memory.

      It is generally accepted that there are three different memory systems sensory memory, short term memory and long term memory. These distinctions were first defined by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1971). Sensory memory is that which holds information from the senses for up to several seconds at the most. Short-term memory in contrast, is whatever we are thinking about at any given moment and has a relatively rapid input and retrieval. Miller (1965) argued that human short term memory has a span of approximately seven items, plus or minus two. Finally, long term memory is the permanent memory system which has a virtually unlimited capacity but takes longer to retrieve and to store (Baddeley, 1990).

      Evidence suggests that short-term memory is primarily phonological involving an articulatory loop of rehersal in working memory (Baddeley, 1990), whereas long term memory relies primarily on the semantic code (Baddeley, 1990).

      It is well known that there is both a primacy and a recency effects in short term memory. This means that there is an improved recall of words at both the start and at the end of the presentation list whereas there will be more information lost from the middle of the presentation.

      There are two theories concering the loss of information in short term memory. The decay theory proposes that loss is the result of trace decay, e.g. the simple automatic fading of the memory. Whereas the inference theory proposes that the forgetting is caused by other information getting in the way. One of the main ways to assess this has been to impose a distraction technique during or after the items which are to be memorized. For example Wolach and Pratt (2000) studied the effects of both phonological and noise ditracters on short term momory recall and showed that both distracters negatively affected the memorization process. The stronger that the distracter was to the material to be memorised than the more severe this effect was.

      The recency effect is greater for auditory than visually presented material. This is called the modality effects. It has been shown that if an irrelevant item is spoken at the end of a list, the recency effect is reduced for auditory but not for visually presented lists. This is called the suffix effect.

      Many other factors can adversely affect short term memory recall. For example, Banbury, Macken, Tremblay and Jones (2001) studied the effects verbal distractions on short term memory. The degree of interference was related to the properties of the sound specifically and even quiet background sounds have a negative effect upon recall. The word frequency and the rate of presentation are also influential in short term memory recall as is presentation type. For example Frankish (1985) found that there was a substantial recall advantage for grouped lists with auditory but not with visual presentation.

      One of the other most important factors to influence short term memory recall is that of chunking. The process of chunking was originally defined by De Groot (1956) and Miller (1956). A chunk is simply defined as a collection of elements having strong associations with one another but weal associations with other chunks (Gobet et al, 2001). An example of a chunk is illustrated below.

      The second example is easier to recall as it is more meaningful, containing an internal structure. The components DOG, HAT and CUP can much more easily be committed to memory than the unconnected letters. Humans tend to use the process of chunking spontaneously (e.g. writing down telephone numbers). This has been termed goal orrientated chunking (e.g. a conscious process) while there is also a perceptual or non-conscious form of chunking (Gobet et al, 2001). This adoption of some form of grouping strategy when presented with unstructured list makes rehearsal easier and utilises primacy and recency effects within groups.

      However, the effects of chunking are modality dependent. For example, inserting pauses improves memory for spoken but not written sequences and using a different tone of voice may also help to improve recall (Frankish, 1989)Many studies have attempted to identify the mechanisms by which chunks are created, restored and retrived. It is important to study chunking as it is sure to underly many aspects of human learning.

      Individuals with defective short terms memory systems have told us a lot about memory and illustrate the need for continued research in this field. An example is that of a patient referred to as HM, who developed an incapacity learn new material (Milner 1966). HM underwent surgery to remove portions of his temporal lobes to stop the seizures he had suffered from since a child. The surgery was successful in this respect but afterwards HM could not maintain normal short term memory for more than a minute despite a perfectly good long term memory for events which happened before the surgery. Specifically he lacked the ability to transfer new short term memories into long term ones. He could repeat information for many minutes, but if distracted, even briefly, he would forgot. HM is not an isolated case and thus the role of the temporal lobes is clearly essential in human memory.

      This study therefore aims to assess the effects of the chunking of items and the presence of a distracter technique prior to recall on short term memory.It is hypothesised that chunked items without a distraction will facilitate greater recall than chunked items followed by a distraction. In addition it is hypothesised that chunked items without distraction will result in greater recall than non chunked items with a distraction. Overall, chunked items will be more successful in terms of recall then non chunked items and the presence of the distracter will result in a deterioration in recall.

      The null hypothesis, therefore infers that there will be no difference in recall between the conditions.

      Participants were 20 male and female undergraduate students, aged between 18-19 years who participated voluntarily. The sample is highly female biased (15 female and 5 males were recruited). Each participant completed each condition once. The conditions were counterbalanced to prevent the possibility of learning effects.

      There were two types of recall stimuli used within this study. The first were chunks which have a similar theme, for example animals (e.g. cat, dog, zebra, mouse, cow, parrott, etc) or colours (e.g. Yellow Green Orange Pink White, etc). The second type were non chunked or unrelated items (for example Cat Red Apple Daisy Nurse Cabbage Table Stockholm Arm).

      There were ten lists in each category each of which contained nine items, thus the maximum score it was possible to gain in each condition was 90. A full list of the chunks used can be observed in Appendix One.

      Each list was presented visually for a total of 15 timed seconds. The order of presentation of these lists was also counterbalanced to avoid the possibility of presentation effects. Following presentation participants were asked to recall as many of the items as they could utilising a free recall design. i.e. in any order they like. Participant were given one minute ti recall as many items as possible in written form.

      Following recall the next set of items was presented immediately afterwards.

      The distraction technique will take the form of a verbal distracter which was the reading out of ten random numbers (between one-nine) the experimenter following the presentation of the lists, prior to recall.


      Conclusion

      The human brain is made up of complicated computing processes. Here every brain is different from another and works completely different ways. One aspect of memory formation every scientist agrees on is that it is not a perfect process. Many factors can affect memories. These factors can be intentional and accidental. They affect the development and storage of memories.

      Various states of brain functions like consciousness, attention, and arousal determine how the subject will experience any event. It is believed that perception, learning, and thought processes play an important role in memory storage in the brain.


      Watch the video: Innovating to zero! Bill Gates (June 2022).


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