Southern Nevada Regional Professional Development Programwww.rpdp.net
RPDP Secondary Literacy Regional Trainer
Memory and the Brain
Learning and memory are synonymous. If you have learned something, the only evidence of that
learning is memory.
Brain Class Mantra There is no without .
Students make meaning by connecting to existing .
Neurons that together, together.
Practice makes permanent!
Memory is not a singular place or thing; it is a collection of complex
electrochemical responses activated through multiple sensory channels and stored in unique and elaborate neural
networks throughout the brain.
1. Once a memory has been placed in long-term storage that memory will never change.
2. Much of what we call intelligence is nothing more than a good memory.
3. The best way to put information into your memory is to keep going over it.
4. Memory is stored in one area of the brain.
5. Age has nothing to do with memory.
6. People who appear to have super memory abilities are using some sort of memory trick.
7. How you feel about something has nothing to do with learning and memory.
8. If information can stay in our working memories for 24 hours, it will automatically be transferred to long-term memory.
Information that aids our survivalWhat we give our attention toWhat we find meaningfulWhat we practiceWhat we link to prior learningWhat we encode with a mnemonic or other memory device
That which is insignificant to usWhen we are not engagedWhat we dont practice, review, or useWhen something is too painful to rememberWhen prolonged stress interferesWhen we dont consciously activate a memory cue
Memory Types (two ways to classify)
Duration/life span Manner encoded and retrieved
Even if we were to figure conservatively that we keep very little in active memory-say one-tenth of 1 percent of whatever we learn in life-it would still mean that our active memories hold several billion
times more information than a large research computer.
Our Brains Information Processing Model--duration
Sensory or perceptual memory Lasts less than 1 second-long enough to interpret
a string of images
Attention to stimulus will allow it to move to short-term memory
Lasts long enough to dial a # or make change If we say it aloud, we reinforce with auditory and
Short Term or Working Memory Can hold information for minutes, hours,
days or even weeks
Holds data in chunks of 3 and 7 Provides ability to form long-term
memories but does NOT always do so
Information must be meaningful, form patterns and connect or it will be lost
The Importance of Applying New Learning
Verbally or physically repeating newly learned material (drill and practice) is a low-cognitive demand process that helps the brain store information in short-term memory.
To make it stick in long-term memory, the learner must apply the new material in various performance situations.
When practical applications of a newly learned skill are followed by immediate and frequent feedback, memory is further enhanced.
Long Term Memory Can last a lifetime May loose connections through neural
pruning Memories are altered as they are accessed,
connect to new learning, and are re-stored.
Memory is the cabinet of imagination, the treasury of reason, the registry of conscience, and the council chamber of thought. St. Basil
Learning & Time The brain is not designed for continuous
Attention span-1 minute for each year; stops at 20 minutes
BEM principlebeginning/middle/end Review 10 min 24 hours 7 days 1 month Reflection and frequent, specific feedback
from various sources minimum every 20 minutes
Takes sleep for a skill to imprint
The Importance of Sleep During sleep, the cortical executive functioning of the
frontal lobes is less active because of less sensory input.
This reduced-activity brain state is needed to allow recently learned material to be rehearsed or repeated, sometimes in dreams.
Because the brain is at rest, it can devote a greater portion of its energy (metabolism) to organizing and filing the memories formed during the day.
fMRI show that there is increased oxygen use 24 hours after the information is stored.
This has led researchers to test and confirm their predictions that increasing sleep time from six or less to eight hours can increase memory and alertness up to 25 percent.
Journaling Improves Memory and Cognition
Writing down information helps the brain organize and make sense of complex information. Intermittent review of these details increases retention, both immediate and long-term.
Journaling engages the mind and the senses in a creative process of personal storytelling. Writing our way through a problem not only encourages viable solutions to come to the surface naturally, it also helps us take advantage of our inner thoughts and helps us overcome writers block
Take two minutes and memorize the following list:
We have 5 memory systems
Semantic MemoryMost academic and professional knowledge
Ideas, facts, typical exam questions Weakest of our retrieval systems; newly evolved Triggered by language and books Stored in hippocampus Uses working memory, so must be presented in small
chunks Most difficult of memory lanestakes repetition,
relevance and sleep Must be stimulated by associations, comparisons, and
Episodic Memory (autobiographical, contextual, spatial)
Driven by location and circumstance Like a film rolling, the occasion comes to life Storytelling Also, stored in hippocampus, but in separate
part Invisible information students cant solve
math in English Least reliableover time tends to change
The how of a memory task Riding a bike Automatic Once memory becomes routine, it is
stored in cerebellum Gives us multitasking
Automatic Memory (conditioned response memory)
Alphabet, multiplication tables, ability to decode
Once automatic, stored in cerebellum Memories automatically triggered by music,
smell Flash cards, singing, signing Automatic memory often triggers other
memory pathsSmell is potent wizard that transports us across thousands of miles
and all the years we have livedHelen Keller
Emotional Memory Takes precedence over any other kind of memory neural hijacking Can release the hormone, cortisol Stored in the amygdalathe amygdalas repsonse
All but emotional memory must be stimulated by an outside force.
What we remember most 90% teaching others 75% practicing and doing 50% discussion 30% watching a demonstration 20% audio and visuals 10% reading 5% lecture 1% worksheet Visuals increase memory 4Xs (400%)
Think of your preferred mode of instruction. How much do your students remember?
Synesthesia The more sensory experience we incorporate into our
memories, the more likely we are to remember.
Luria, a Russian, spent 30 years studying a man named Shereshevskii who consistently exhibited perfect recall over long periods (several years).
In addition to having amazing visualization skills, he was also adept in synesthesia-the ability to express a memory generated in one sense in terms of another.
S. described a tone with a pitch of 2,000 cycles per second as looking like a pink-red hue, The strip of color feels rough and unpleasant, and it has an ugly tasterather like that of a briny pickle.
Stop! What are you thinking?
Do you have any questions?
Has your thinking changed?
Are you confused?
Memories can be.
Explicit (declarative)-meaning achieved through purpose and effort
Semantic and episodic Learning how to spell Solving a math problem Remembering stories
Most learning in school is explicit
Implicit (non-declarative)-organically, automatically or indirect
Procedural, emotional and automatic (stimulus response)
Some memories begin as explicit but through repetition become implicit.
Driving a car Knowing fire burns Primal memories; they keep us safe!
How do you remember best? Which memory system is your strongest? Which one is your weakest? Has your memory changed over time?
It is impossible even to think without a mental picture
Memory or remembering is a state induced by metal images.
I shut my eyes in order to see.Paul Gauguin
Are the buttonholes on a mans shirt horizontal or vertical?
In which hand is the Statue of Libertys torch? Which way does water flow down the drain,
counter or clockwise?
Which way do fans rotate? Which way is Lincoln facing on a penny? How many curves are there on a standard
Activity: Read the brief fictional story. As a group, label the types of memory involved. The first one is
done for you.
Jesse is a