Unit 9 Cognitive Psych Essay

1298 words - 6 pages

Unit 9 Assignment
Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

Linda is an ex substance abuser and has experienced a few relapses. Linda is 33 and is in good health besides damage to her lungs due to smoking crack cocaine. She is concerned about her memory, since she misplaces her car keys at home and losing her car in the parking lot. Linda is also telling stories regarding her children and is later corrected for telling the story about the wrong child. Linda has no brain damage, besides the decay of her memory due to her substance abuse. When one has brain damage, or anyone uses any illicit drug, it affects the function of the brain. She believes she might be suffering from a ...view middle of the document...

According to their theory they felt that the brain rehearsed the information in order to create a memory. The brain receives sensory stimuli and then decides whether or not it is important. Next it is sent to the Working Memory and stored with other similar information for long term storage (Cognitive Psychology, 2010). When one tries to recall a memory they are being reconstructed from several parts of the brain. During the recall of a memory the brain replays a pattern of neural activity that was originally generated in response to a particular event, in which is an echo of the brain’s perception of that real event. Memory retrieval therefore requires re-visiting the nerve pathways the brain formed when encoding the memory and the strength of those pathways determines how quickly the memory can be recalled. “Recall effectively returns a memory from long-term storage to short-term memory, where it can be accessed, in a kind of mirror image of the encoding process. It is then re-stored back in long-term memory, thus re-consolidating and strengthening it” (Mastin, 2010).
Since Linda’s cognitive abilities are impaired due to her substance use, she is experiencing Absent-mindedness, Misattribution and Transience. Absent-mindedness is misplacing your keys and forgetting where you park your car. Absent-mindedness occurs because of missing memory material. Transience is the decay of memory over time, as we age. I believe her past substance abuse helped speed up the process, thus fading over time due to non-use of the memory and the overflow of memories created each day does not help. Lastly, she suffers from Misattribution which is stored memories that are having trouble surfacing, they are missing key components. The memory system recalls having experienced an event without actually having the experience (Cognitive Psychology, 2010).

Some strategies I would suggest for Linda first and foremost is proper sleep, exercise, proper diet and maintain healthy relationships. Sleep has been known to aid in retaining long term memory. Exercise is important as well, not only for one’s psychical being but mental as well. If Linda is feeling particularly stressed exercise releases endorphins and this also helps one sleep better, as well as relieve stress. As for her diet, I would suggest Omega- 3s for example nuts, squash, broccoli and seafood. When it comes to socializing with friends Research shows that having meaningful relationships and a strong support system are vital not only to emotional health, but also to brain health. “In one recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health, for example, researchers found that people with the most active social lives had the slowest rate of memory decline” (Smith and Robinson, 2013).
Recent research shows that drug abuse alters cognitive activities such as decision-making and inhibition, which is likely setting the path for addiction and relapse. Most substance abuse researchers once...

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