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Memory Retrieval Lab

AP Biology: May 22, 2015


Nataly Salman, Amber Aboona, Raymond Abbo, and Aysha Ali
Background Information: Remembering is the word
that describes when we recall information that is encoded
and stored into the long term memory of the brain
through neural activity. Each time one retrieves
information, the brain replays a pattern of neural activity
similar to that of the time of learning. Although we are
unable to recall the exact genuine experience and the
visual map of what occurred at the time, we are still
aware of the moment. Recalling the information sends
the codes from long term memory to short-term memory,
where we are able to access current thoughts reflecting the original time of learning. For
example, if a student in Mrs. Brodis AP Biology class was learning about memory retrieval,
which occurs in the hippocampus and is affected by the amygdala (emotions), thalamus (sensory
information), and the frontal lobe (thinking, learning, and short-term memory), and Mrs. Brodi
was eating an apple while teaching the lesson, then the student will associate what they saw with
the information learned in order to retrieve the information at a later time.
While memory retrieval is based solely on individual strengths and weaknesses, it is more
common in humans that auditory recognition in memory is inferior to that of visual recognition.
Auditory processing begins with hearing in the outer ear (where sound waves are collected),
the middle ear (where sound waves get converted into vibrations and mechanical energy), and
the inner ear (containing the cochlea enabling hearing). The auditory process continues as the
signal travels the auditory nerve, reaches the brainstem, and then the brain where it can be
understood. In visual processing, light enters the retina and strikes the photoreceptors. 1 million
ganglion cells will work with the rods and cones to collect the information and then transmit it
from the optic nerve to the brain in the form of electric signals. The brain will process the image
and allow us to see.
Memory can be retrieved with processes such as maintenance rehearsal or elaboration. While
maintenance rehearsal, which is the continuous repetition of information to be stored in the
short-term memory, is effective for middle school children, elaboration of material is the most
effective way to not only learn information, but also store it in the long term memory for quick
retrieval. The Serial Position Effect states that an individual is able to more easily recall
information in the beginning and end of a list rather than the middle. The Primacy Effect states
that an individual is able to better remember items in the beginning of a list, while the Recency
Effect states that an individual is able to better remember items at the end of a list. In opposition
to auditory information, it is said that males remember 80% of visual information they learn
while females remember 70% of the visual information they learn.
http://www.human-memory.net/processes_recall.html
http://www.ukessays.com/essays/marketing/scientific-study-of-visual-memorization-versus-auditorymemorization.php
http://nacd.org/journal/auditory_processing.ph

Pre-lab Questions:
1. What is the word that describes when we recall information?
Remembering
2. What does recalling information do?
Send information from long term to short- term memory
3. Where does memory retrieval occur?
In the hippocampus
4. What is the Serial Position effect?
Recalling information in the beginning and end of a list but not the middle
5. What type of learning method is best for males?
Visual

Objectives:
Observe which type of learning method allows for the most efficient way to retrieve
memory.
Calculate the average memory retrieval for each type of learning method

Hypothesis:
If an individual is given three different types of learning methods: a written list, a set of pictures,
and a verbal list, then he/ she will have the best memory retrieval when shown the written list.

Materials:
o
o
o
o
o
o

Pencil
Paper
Timer
Set of pictures (powerpoint)
List of words (verbal)
Listen of words (written)

Controls (3):
Same timing for each list
Same number of words
Same time interval between each word shown or spoken

Independent Variable:
Methods of learning

Dependent Variable:
Memory recall

Procedure:
Take out a piece of paper and a writing utensil (pen/pencil).
Mentally prepare to see a written list.
Look at the screen, a written list of 30 terms will be shown for 90 seconds.
When instructor starts time, pay close attention and attempt to remember as many words as
possible.
Once the 90 seconds is over, rest for a few seconds until the instructor gives further direction.
The instructor will begin timer for 90 seconds and you must write down as many words as
you can remember from the list.
Once time is called, put your writing utensil down and rest your brain for 2 minutes.
Record the amount of words you have recalled in the individual data table under written
list on the next page.
The instructor will announce for the class to prepare for an auditory list, so listen closely!
The instructor will verbally announce a list of 30 words in a 90 second period.
Once the 90 second period is over, rest for a few seconds until given further instruction.
When the instructor starts the timer, write down as many words as you remember in the 90
second time frame.
When time is called, put down your writing utensil and rest your brain for 2 minutes.
Record the amount of words you have recalled in the individual data table under verbal list.
The instructor will announce for the class to prepare for a final list of images, so pay
attention!
A list of pictures will play through a PowerPoint on the whiteboard, once the instructor starts
the time, pay attention to the images shown in the 90 second period.
Once the time is up, rest for a few seconds until given further instruction.
The instructor will begin the 90 second period again so you are able to write down as many
objects as you may remember from the previous PowerPoint.
When the timer has started, write down as many words as you can recall.
Once the 90 second period is over, put down your writing utensil and rest for two minutes.
Record the amount of words you have recalled in the individual data table under image list.

Individual Data:
Type Of Learning

Number of Terms Recalled

Written List
Verbal List
Image List

Class Average Data:


Written List

Verbal List

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
Average
4

Image List

Graph:

Conclusion:
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Post-Lab Questions:
1. Was your hypothesis supported by the data? Why or why not?
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2. What was the class average for men? For women?
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3. What did you learn from this lab?
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4. What other factors do you think could have affected your results?
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5. How could your observations be used in real-life?
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Memory Retrieval
Questions 1-9: Multiple Choice
1. Which of the following does not directly affect memory retrieval?
a) the amygdala
b) the thalamus
c) the medulla oblongata

d) the frontal lobes

2. Constant repetition of material to store information in the short term memory is:
a) elaboration
b) maintenance rehearsal c) encoding d) development
3. States that individuals are more likely to forget items in the middle of a list:
a) Serial Position Effect b) Primacy Effect c) Recency Effect d) Theory of Middle Dilemma
4. The term allowing sensory information to be converted into a pattern of neural activity and
sent to the brain so that it may be later accessed in short or long term memory.
a) retrieval cues b) neurological activiting d) recitation d) encoding
5. Where thoughts can be accessed, also called the working memory.
a) Semantic memory b) long-term memory c) echoic memory d) short-term memory
6. The ear has ____ parts
a) two b) three c) six

d) many

7. The term that refers to the pathway beginning from the outer ear to the brain is called
auditory _____:
a) grouping b) processing c) information d) hearing loss
8. The cells specific to working with photoreceptors in the retina.
a) nerve cells b) stem cells c) ganglion cells d) retinal muscle cells
9. Where light enters and strikes the photoreceptors during visual pathway processing.
a) retina b) outer ear c) optic nerves d) cerebral cortex
Questions 10-15: Mark a for TRUE or b for FALSE:
10. ____ Elaboration is the most effective way to study and remember information.
11. ____ The order in which information is presented affects the likeliness that it will be
remembered.
12. ____ When we remember, we are able to recall the exact experience at the time of
learning.
13. ____ Photoreceptors that work in the retina are called ganglion cells and cochlea.
14. ____ Visual stimuli are more likely to be remembered than auditory.
15. ____ Memory retrieval rates are the same in every individual.