Human Memory (PSYC 5374-261)
Spring 2016

Professor: Roberto R. Heredia., Ph.D. 

URL: http://www.tamiu.edu/~rheredia/

Office: CH 205B

E-mail: rheredia@tamiu.edu

Class Time & Place: M 5:30 - 8:30 PM PH 107

Phone: (956) 326-2637

Office Hours:  M-W 4:00 PM-5:00 PM;  T & R 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM  & By Appointment

Course Description:
Examines the processing systems that underlie human learning, memory and cognition. Involves discussion and critical evaluation of current, historical, and interdisciplinary readings relevant to human memory. Prerequisite: Graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.

Course Objectives:

1. Critically interpret research articles in the field of human memory and learning.
2. Appraise and contrast the principles (e.g., short-term, long-term, episodic, procedural, and working memory) and logic in human memory research.
3. Compose a literature review on a specific topic in the field human memory and learning.
4. Formulate a theoretically sound research proposal for an original study in the field of human memory and learning

Required Text:
Schwartz, B. L. (2013). Memory: Foundations and applications (2nd ed.).  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. (ISBN: 9781452259116)

Note: Additional readings will be determined as the semester progresses.    


Course Philosophy:
This is a demanding course. There is considerable reading and writing to be done and much to think about. You are expected to master the basic material covered in the readings/discussions and to participate actively in class. The assumption underlying this class is that we are responsible students that want to learn and do high quality work. Some lectures and discussions in the course are designed to supplement the readings. As such, you can expect discussions to present ideas that are not always covered in the readings.

(1). There will be one midterm and a final each worth 100 points consisting of general essay questions. The Midterm will cover only the material for the first part of the course, and the final will be comprehensive, covering the new material and the material from the first part of the class. You may use published material and your own notes in answering midterm questions.

(2). Class will consist of discussions, and in-class activities. Active class discussion is required. The purpose of class discussions is to allow a more in-depth analysis of the issues covered in the assigned weekly readings, particularly discussions of the ways in which these issues apply to problems in everyday life and the study of the human mind. You will be much more prepared for lively discussion during the classroom time if you have read the assigned material prior to the time in which it will be addressed in class.

(3). Discussion Points: By 10:00 A.M. of every Monday, please submit by email a set of at least five brief discussion points related to the broad themes of the readings from your textbook and readings. Discussion points should be empirical or theoretical implications raised by the material that suggest creative connections to other issues, or follow up experiments. Do not submit clarification questions of the material. Comments must reveal thoughtful reflection on the material in fewer than 100 words. Be prepared to discuss the issues you raise and please bring a copy of your discussion points to class. (Discussions points are part of your Participation evaluation). Notice that there is a Cognitive Psychology Facebook Group. You are encoraged to post contributions related to Human Memory or Cognitive Science.

(4) Attendance: Attendance is not only mandatory, but crucial for this course to function well. You will be allowed 1 absence for emergencies (Note: Provide adequate notice and documentation). Failure to provide notice or documentation, or having more than 1 absence will result in heavy penalties (i.e. dropping a whole letter grade or two).

(5). Discussion + Presentation (Scoring Rubric): Students will be discussion leaders for one topic, of their choice, from the textbook used in class. The discussion-presentation will include information from the texbook readings (see Schedule of Classes below) and three related (to the topic) academic (journal) articles chosen by the student. A final academic presentation is required (see requirement 6 for more details). In lieu of the final academic presentation, the student may choose to present a poster or paper at the Lamar Bruni Vergara & Guillermo Benavides Z Spring 2016 Student Academic Conference (see also, www.facebook.com/lbvconference or lbvconference@tamiu.edu) Iff you choose this option, you need to register for the conference. Your grade for the presentation will be based on the score that you obtain from the conference judges plus 10%. For example, if you receive a 90% from the Conference judges, your grade for the presentations would be 90% + 10% = 100%.

(6) Research Paper:  A written assigment (15-20 double-spaced pages) worth 100 points with at least 15 references is due May 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM. Psychology Today and internet sources are not valid references. The emphasis on the research paper will be on your ability to write well (i.e., APA style, 6th ed.), integrate existing literature, and your ability to reason critically and scientifically. This paper will be an independent project (e.g., a proposed set of experiments, or a theoretical review) related to Human Memory and Learning. An academic presentation (10-15 minutes) will accompany this proposal.

(7). As part of your academic and intellectual development, you are required to attend at least two academic presentations (e.g., Academic Conferences: Psychology/Student related) or Psychology Master's Students Theses presentations). Dates will be provided for these presentations. Please check your email messages.

(8). It is expected that you will neither give nor receive any unauthorized aid for all tests and assignments in this class.  Unauthorized aid is defined as, but not limited to, the use of your notes, textbooks, the internet, or people. All students are required to read and understand Dusty Devil's HONOR CODE, complete the HONOR CODE FORM and return it to your professor, and remember, A Dustyt Devil does not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.

(9). All assignments and requirements  must be completed successfully by the start of the final exam to pass the course. As per TAMIU Regulations,  all electronic communication with students will take place via the TAMIU email system. The instructor will ONLY respond to and send messages to TAMIU email addresses. Students must check their TAMIU email accounts regularly. In general, students can expect responses to email messages within 24/48 hours.

Summary: Points will accumulate over the semester such that there will be:

2 Examinations                                                        @100 points X 2        = 200 points
Participation & Attendance                                      @100 + 50 points      = 150 points
2 Presentations                                                         @ 50 points X 2         = 100 points
Research Paper                                                        @ 100 points              = 100 points

Total possible points: 550  pts.
   A = 90-100%, B = 80-89%, Unsatisfactory = 79% and below





FEB 15

Introduction to the Study of Memory/Memory and the Brain

Ch 1-2

FEB 22

Working Memory

Ch 3

FEB 29

Episodic Memory

Ch 4


                                SPRING BREAK

MAR 14

Semantic and Lexical Memory

Ch 5

MAR 21

Visual Memory

Ch 6

MAR 28



Autobiographical Memory

Ch 7

APR 11

False Memory

Ch 8

APR 18

Metamemory (Faculty Evaluations)

Ch 9

APR 25

Memory Disorders 

Ch 10


Memory in Childhood/Older Adults/Academic Presentations

Ch 11 or 12

May 9

Memory Improvement/Academic Presentations

Ch 13


Reading Day/ Research Proposal Due Date

May 16


NOTE: The above schedule and procedures in this course are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances.

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