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Operant Conditiong

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Submitted By samiaMohamud
Words 789
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Investigators: Fergus I. M. Craaik (u of T, Rotman Research Institute), Tara M. Moroz(u of T), Morris Moscovitch(u of T, Roman Research Institute,) Endel Tulving( Rotman Research Institute) and shitji Kapur ( Rotman Research Institute, Clarke institute of psychiatry)

Source: In search of the self: A positron emission tomography study. (using a computerized radiographic technique to examine the metabolic activity in various tissues (especially in the brain). http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu
Summary: The theory that the investigators came up with was that the deeper and more elobrative encoding leads to better memory. ( Encoding refers to the process of forming a memory code, putting information into memory.) the theory suggest the more elaborative the encoding the better the memory.
Examples listed: if given a list of words to memorize, one way to try to encode would be structural ie (the font , phonemic characteristics, how the sound) The meaning of the words (semantic encoding) and self-referent encoding (which researchers have found to be the best)
Objectives: One main objective of the experimenter was to see or determine what areas of the brain were activated when the processing task involved the self
According to reading the left prefrontal cortex is the area associated with process of meaning. Right brain might be the area in the brain where the self is represented.
Method of research: laboratory : pet scan Correlation: experimental: more elaborative encoding causes better memory,
Method: Paricipants were eight-right handed participants( 4 males and 4 females)
Procedure: research participants were presented with eight lists of personality traits that they were asked to encode using four encoding tasks( two lists for each tak) Self-task- judged how well the word described them, other task; how well it described a famous Canadian general task: how socially desirable the trait was and a syllable task- how many syllables were in each word. First three task envolving encoding. Last one doesn’t. and only one envolves the self. This is the isolated variable., the one involving the self. Participants were also givene a later test to examine their memory for the words. Note : while the participants were performing the encoding tasks relative regional cerebral blood flow was measured. ( base line)
Results: results indicate the three semantic encoding ( self, social desirability, general) were associated with better recognition memory for the trait words than the less elobrative syllable task. The self task was associated with somewhat better memory than the other encoding tools. The second alternative pet scan analysis showed that only the self-conditioned was associated with increased right prefrontal activity.
Conclusion/ Discusiion:

Bias: Only did right handed people and not left handed people. (Dicuss pros and cons of evaluating only eight people). Did not mention what population he took the sample from. Culture could skew the results if the learn because they learn differently. Sampling bias may have the occurred. Also age would be a possible extraneous factor that the investigators did not consider, If the person has disease or damage the effects the brain to store memory in a less or more effective way. If your positive or negative.

Tulving first made the distinction between episodic and semantic memory in a 1972 book chapter.[3] Episodic memory is the ability to consciously recollect previous experiences from memory (e.g., recalling a recent family trip to Disney World), whereas semantic memory is the ability to store more general knowledge in memory (e.g., the fact that Disney World is in Florida).
Purpose for research: Retaining the information you get is vital. So that is why it’s significant for us to know the best methods of maintain the information we attain on a daily basis or in a strict educational environment. The information we get is important for us to maintain so we can go on to next step, which is implementing that knowledge. For example we learn that red light means stop, green light means go, and yellow light means proceed with caution. This information once retained can be implemented and I think for all the drivers, pedestrians, relatives of pedestrians and I mean anyone who care for the greater good of the world would say its quite crucial for a person to be able to retain and implement such rules of the road. Although this a pretty basic idea of maintaining knowledge most of us learned at a young age it depicts the building blocks of how we apply the information we learn to our lives and those who retain it better and can apply it easier. In this procedure the experimenters investigate the methods of encoding to enhance memory and in that achieve their goal of proving that self- relating encoding is the best encoding that leads to best memory storage.

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