Perform Your Own Word Memorization Experiment
There are a number of different approaches you could take in conducting your own word memorization experiment.
- Compare random words versus related words. Create two lists of words: One that is completely random and another that has groups of related words. Ask participants to first complete one trial with the random words, and then complete another trial with the related words. Compare the results of the two trials.
- Compare results between male and female participants. Have a group of participants perform the memorization activity, and then compare how many words the male participants remembered on average to how many the female participants remembered.
- Try the experiment with gender-associated terms versus gender-neutral terms. Create a list of terms related to objects or concepts commonly associated with women or men. Then create a list of neutral terms. Administer both tests to a group and compare the results between the men and women. Did women or men find it easier to remember the gender-associated terms? Or were the results insignificant?
- Compare results among different age groups. For example, create a group of school-age children, a group of college students, a group of middle-aged adults, and a group of older adults. Give the same test to each participant and then compare the results of each group. Which group performed the best? Which one performed the worst? What do these results have to say about memory and age?
Other Information About A Cats Memory Span
It is important to know that cats can have memory issues when they are dying or sick. They might not have an appetite or they might forget to use their litter box. Sometimes it is just a temporary behavior change. Other times, it has to do with a cats memory.
Now that you know more about a cat’s memory span, you can understand more of what memories they make. If you are nice to your cat and you take great care of them earlier in their life, they are going to remember this. If you adopt a cat that has been mistreated, they arent likely to forget their past. However, they might warm up to you if you continue being nice to them. They might become less afraid as time goes on.
What Are The Signs Of Mourning
When a cat loses a companion, whether animal or human, she most certainly grieves and reacts to the changes in her life. Cats alter their behavior when they mourn much like people do:
- They may become depressed and listless.
- They may have a decreased appetite and decline to play.
- They may sleep more than usual and move more slowly, sulking around.
- They may hide under the bed, choosing to be alone even more than usual for cats.
Pet owners recognize these changes in daily behavior as the same ones that grieving humans often exhibit. The common denominator in human or feline grief is the loss of a central individual along with the associated bond.
Skeptics suggest that cats dont really grieve and attribute their behavioral changes to the alterations in daily routine resulting from the absence of an integral figure in the cats life. In other words, the cat gets upset because her schedule is off. With the loss of a companion cat, perhaps the surviving cat misses feline interaction and play time. With the loss of a human companion, perhaps the established and accepted feeding and play schedules are changed as the new care giver takes charge. Since they may not actually understand death as something permanent, sometimes a cat will wait patiently, believing that the deceased will return. Still others suggest that the cat may just be reacting to the grief exhibited by humans in the house as they deal with the death of a family member.
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Memory Loss And Aging
Weve all misplaced keys, blanked on someones name, or forgotten a phone number. When youre young, you dont tend to pay much attention to these lapses, but as you grow older, you may worry about what they mean. Perhaps you start to talk about a movie you saw recently when you realize you cant remember the title. Youre giving directions to your house when you suddenly blank on a familiar street name. Or you find yourself standing in the middle of the kitchen wondering what you went in there for. Memory lapses can be frustrating, but most of the time they arent cause for concern. Age-related memory changes are not the same thing as dementia.
As you grow older, you experience physiological changes that can cause glitches in brain functions youve always taken for granted. It takes longer to learn and recall information. Youre not as quick as you used to be. In fact, you may mistake this slowing of your mental processes for true memory loss. But in most cases, if you give yourself time, the information will come to mind. So, while its true that certain brain changes are inevitable when it comes to aging, major memory problems are not one of them. Thats why its important to know the difference between normal age-related forgetfulness and the symptoms that may indicate a developing cognitive problem.
Has There Been Any Research On The Subject
Skepticism aside, there are many animal behaviorists who believe that cats really do mourn. Much was learned by a survey conducted in 1996 by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals . The study, Companion Animal Mourning Project, gathered data that shed new light on the feline grieving process. The survey study focused on common signs associated with mourning and found that:
- 46% of cats experienced a decreased appetite following the loss of a feline companion.
- Many cats slept more than usual while some suffered insomnia.
- Some cats changed the area of the house where they slept.
- About 70% of cats exhibited changes in vocal patterns some meowed more while others were quieter than they were prior to their loss of a companion.
- Surviving cats were often more affectionate with their owners and became clingy.
The study, which assessed many different behavior patterns, concluded that 65% of cats experienced four or more behavioral changes after the loss of a family pet which indicated grief.
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Do Dogs Or Cats Have Better Memories
Studies show that dogs outperform cats when it comes to their short-term memory abilities. This leads experts, like Kornreich, to believe that the same would hold true when it comes to long-term memories. You would extrapolate from the fact that dogs do better on short-term memory studies than cats dothat they perhaps have better long-term memories, he explains. We have to be careful about coming to that conclusion without it being tested. But it makes perfect sense to me to say, Well, if a cat forgets where something is in 30 seconds and a dog remembers where it is for a minute, then you would think that the dog not only has better short-term memory but perhaps it has better long-term memory. But that is presuming that the mechanisms behind short-term and long-term memory are the same and they may not be.
Monique Udell, assistant professor of animal and rangeland sciences at Oregon State University, points out that new research is looking specifically at fading memories in pets. While cats and dogs do have long term-memory, the precision and accuracy of these memories can decline over time, just as it does for humans, she explains. We still have a lot to learn about the types of information that animals retain for long periods of time, but recent research into age-related memory decline and dementia in dogs may shed light on some of these questions, for both healthy dogs and those suffering from memory loss.
Ruling Out Other Causes For Your Cats Behavior
If your cat shows any of the symptoms or changes listed above, your first step is to take her to the veterinarian to determine whether there is a specific medical cause for her behavior. Any medical or degenerative illness that causes pain, discomfort or decreased mobilitysuch as arthritis, dental disease, thyroid dysfunction, cancer, impaired sight or hearing, or urinary tract diseasecan lead to increased sensitivity and irritability, increased anxiety about being touched or approached, increased aggression , decreased responsiveness to your voice, reduced ability to adapt to change, and reduced ability to get to usual elimination areas.
If medical problems are ruled out, and if primary behaviorproblems unrelated to aging are ruled out , your cats behavior may be attributed to the effects of aging on the brain.
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Why Do I Keep Forgetting The News Ive Read This Morning But I Can Remember Things From Years Ago
Memory is not technically one single skill there are lots of different types of memories stored across the brain and different ways of categorising them. Often, people refer to memories in two broad categories: short term and long term.
The basic stages of getting information from short-term to long-term memory are initially taking information in, storing it and retrieving it when needed . Different parts of the brain are involved in these stages, for instance the hippocampus is a part of the brain involved in storing long-term memories.
Long-term memories have had time to undergo each stage and be stored properly through a process known as consolidation. Day-to-day memories, on the other hand, are new information that have not had a chance to undergo this process of consolidation. A brain injury can affect any of the stages involved in this process, therefore disrupting memory storage and leading to poor recollection of the information.
Does My Cat Miss Me When Im Away
It is very difficult to say whether or not a cat actually misses you while you are away.
Cats dont seem to experience the same level of attachment to their owners as dogs do and as such they dont react the same as dogs do.
Dogs show affection very clearly by wagging their tail and giving their owner affection when they return home but this behaviour simply isnt in a cats nature.
While your cat does control its tail they use it very differently from a dog and certainly wont wag it to show happiness!
A cat is more likely to express upset at the fact you were gone in the first place but some cats will display affection by rubbing against you and greeting you when you return.
Its difficult to judge how a cat is feeling but dont let this dampen your spirit!
Its hard to say that your cat actively misses you but that doesnt mean they arent thrilled when they do see you again.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence of long-term memory of owners, such as this story of Chebon the cat reuniting with his owner Robert after 7 years apart.
There are so many beautiful stories of cats and their owner reuniting and these stories suggest cats have considerable long-term memories.
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Causes Of Memory Loss
Here are some of the more common things that can cause memory loss:
Medications. A number of prescription and over-the-counter medications can interfere with or cause loss of memory. Possible culprits include: antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-anxiety medications, muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, and pain medications given after surgery.
Smoking harms memory by reducing the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain. Studies have shown that people who smoke find it more difficult to put faces with names than do nonsmokers. Illegal drugs can change chemicals in the brain that can make it hard to recall memories.
Sleep deprivation. Both quantity and quality of sleep are important to memory. Getting too little sleep or waking frequently in the night can lead to fatigue, which interferes with the ability to consolidate and retrieve information.
Depression and stress. Being depressed can make it difficult to pay attention and focus, which can affect memory. Stress and anxiety can also get in the way of concentration. When you are tense and your mind is overstimulated or distracted, your ability to remember can suffer. Stress caused by an emotional trauma can also lead to memory loss.
Our Experiences Can Transfer To Our Pets
An owners stress at the vet transfers to the pet. If youre anxious, then the memory of the building, the smell, and the people in that building will forever be scary. A bad nail trimming experience can have them running, at even the sight of the clippers. If there isnt an effort toslowly work back upto how the dog felt pre-incident, there is no way to rewrite the negative experience. Dr. Cruz Balser encourages people to swing by the vet clinic periodically for happy visits, where pets get a treat and some love.That way, the pet can have experiences in the vet clinic that arent scary, and it doesnt become ingrained in them that the clinic is bad, she says.
Pet owners never want to leave their cats and dogs friends stewing with unpleasant emotions. With more awareness of our pets cognitive capabilities, we can increase our animals wellness. Working patiently to rewrite a past negative experience takes time and love, but if you have the love, they have the time. For a little extra support with helping your canine cope with events they are uneasy about, like car trips and vet visits, SpringtimesStress Free Calmplexis a safe, and natural supplement to assist in managing their stress. Best of all, it helps focus and concentration without sedation, making it safe for daily use.
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Finding The Cause Of Memory Loss
If you find that you are increasingly forgetful or if memory problems interfere with your daily life, schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause and best treatment.
To evaluate memory loss, your doctor will take a medical history, perform a physical exam — including a neurologic exam — and ask questions to test mental ability. Depending on the results, further evaluation may include blood and urine tests, nerve tests, and imaging tests of the brain such as computerized axial tomography scans or magnetic resonance imaging .
You may also be sent for neuropsychological testing, which is a battery of tests that help pinpoint the memory loss.
B Early Development: Human Studies
Investigations of the effects of sleep on memory formation during early development in humans focused on declarative and procedural memory processes similar to those examined in adults, rather than on behaviors linked to sensitive periods, like social imprinting and amblyopia as a consequence of monocular deprivation. Overall, these studies point towards the particular relevance of SWS for sleep-dependent memory consolidation in children. In adults, SWS has been revealed to play a causal role for the consolidation of hippocampus-dependent declarative memories , but may play a similar role for explicitly acquired procedural memory .
1. Consolidation of declarative memory
2. Consolidation of procedural memory
3. Children extract more explicit knowledge from implicitly trained tasks than adults
Consistent with the notion that sleep in children particularly benefits explicit task aspects and the extraction of abstract knowledge, 15-mo-old infants already showed a sleep-dependent benefit for extraction of grammatical rules during language learning . The results were confirmed in a second study of this group employing an extended retention interval of 24 h . Both studies used the infant’s orienting response towards the auditory word-strings to assess memory recall. Orienting is a well-known hippocampus-dependent function , suggesting that the retrieval test tapped hippocampus-dependent declarative aspects of the memory, although this issue deserves further examination.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Cognitive Dysfunction In Cats
The following behaviours could be symptomatic of cognitive dysfunction in cat:
- Learning and Memory forgetting old routines or failing to adopt new ones
- Reduced activity your cat may appear lethargic or disinterested
- Confusion and anxiety your cat may appear disorientated or become fearful
- Disrupted sleep they may have altered sleep cycles from their normal
- Changing relationships not getting along with a family member or other pet as a new behaviour
Although most commonly due to ageing, memory loss can also be because of immense stress or trauma. If your pet is showing symptoms after an accident, always consult your vet to check for any injuries.
Pet Memory Loss: This Is How You Can Tell If Your Cat Or Dog Could Have Dementia
Dementia is not exclusive to humans, but can also affect our four-legged friends too ‘ and pet charity PDSA is helping to educate pet owners about the signs and symptoms to look out for in older pets.
Dementia is an umbrella term which is used to describe a set of symptoms caused by a gradual loss of brain function. Symptoms are varied but can include memory loss, confusion and poor attention, and onset is generally associated with growing older.
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Associative Memory Versus Real Memory
Dog memory can be best understood as primarily associative versus real memory. A dog remembers people and places based on associations he has with those people and places. If the owner puts on a specific article of clothing before taking the dog out for a walk, the dog will react with his usual excitement about going to the park when the owner puts on that coat. This will last for many years unless a new association to the coat is established. A dog is unlikely, however, to suddenly get excited about going for a walk without any sign of the coat, or the leash, or whatever reminds him of the walk.