Introduction to Linguistics

In this video I introduce some terminology from linguistics for describing how languages use sounds to represent meaning. Phonemes refers to the individual sounds used in a language, while morphemes refer to units of meaning. Phonological rules dictate how sounds can be combined in a language (with variations resulting in accents), while syntactical rules relate to how words can be …

Language Acquisition: Skinner vs. Chomsky

In this video I introduce language acquisition as a type of learning that isn’t explained well by the behaviorist principles we saw in the unit on learning theory. In the next few videos we’ll be looking at linguistics and language acquisition in more detail and then considering how language relates to thought. We begin with Noam Chomsky’s review of B.F. …

Mnemonic Strategies

In this video I discuss the use of mnemonic strategies to improve memory. These techniques can serve as “artificial” retrieval cues and are particularly useful for knowledge that doesn’t need to be deeply connected to other ideas, such as random facts or lists of items. Mnemonics help to organize and structure this information and aid recall using rhymes, similar sounds, …

Memory Improvement Techniques Part 2

In this video I discuss a few more memory concepts which can be applied to improve recall and enhance the effectiveness of your studying. Levels of processing theory suggests that deeper processing improves recall and this can be especially effective when combined with the self-referential effect, which is that we tend to recall things that we have a personal connection …

Memory Improvement Techniques Part 1

In this video I discuss several memory concepts which can be applied to improve recall and enhance the effectiveness of your studying. These include organizing material and creating a structure, using distributed review rather than massed practice, taking advantage of the serial position effect, testing yourself rather than simply reviewing or rereading, and overlearning material you feel you already know. …

Long-Term Potentiation (LTP)

In this video I explain the concept of long-term potentiation, which refers to the strengthening of neural connections due to repeated synchronous firing. Repeated firing leads to changes in chemical signaling between the two neurons, influencing neurotransmitter and receptor activity. Next I introduce an example of this with the possible role of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (for the neurotransmitter glutamate) in …

Biology of Memory: The Hippocampus

In this video I introduce the biology of memory and the role of the hippocampus on long-term memory formation. I discuss several cases of severe memory loss including patients H.M. and E.P., who suffered anterograde amnesia and cannot form new memories, and Clive Wearing, who also suffers from retrograde amnesia and is unable to recall his past. These case studies …

Emotion and Memory

In this video I provide more examples of the relationship between emotion and memory. Flashbulb memories are detailed memories of emotionally-charged events. These memories may be more detailed but they are still subject to the errors and biases that affect other memories and so they may be inaccurate. Next I distinguish between state-dependent memory, which refers to a matching of …

Memory Failures: Misattribution, Suggestibility, Bias, & Persistence

In this video I explain the 4 remaining “sins” of memory from Daniel Schacter’s list. Misattribution refers to incorrectly identifying the source of a memory and relates to false recognition, deja vu, and cryptomnesia. Suggestibility is the idea that our memories are subject to influence and distortion from external information. Several types of bias can influence memory, including consistency bias …

Memory Failures: Transience, Absentmindedness, & Blocking

In this video I introduce 3 common memory failures from Daniel Schacter’s list of the “seven sins” of memory. Transience refers to forgetting due to the passage of time and follows a “forgetting curve” researched by Hermann Ebbinghaus. Absentmindedness refers to a failure to bring a memory to mind at the appropriate time. This relates to the idea of prospective …