Office: 367 Terrill Hall Office Hrs: Tues, 2-4pm; or by appt. Ta

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Learning and Memory

PSYC 4690.002 Spring 2013

Course Syllabus

Instructor: Dr. Adriel Boals Contact: or 940-565-2671

Office: 367 Terrill Hall Office Hrs: Tues, 2-4pm; or by appt.
TA: Samantha Price Contact:

Office: TH 222D Office Hrs: Tues, Thurs, Fri 11-2, or by appt.
Text: Human Memory, 2nd Ed. (2003)
Author: Ian Neath & Aimee Surprenant
Overview: A review of the theoretical and empirical study of learning and memory. We will discuss theories of learning such as classical and operant conditioning, along with memory processes, how they work, and why they sometimes fail us. Topics to be covered include classical and operant conditioning, modes of memory, the development of memory across the lifespan, abnormal memory (e.g., amnesia), conscious and unconscious memory processes, eyewitness memory, and false memories.
Course Requirements:

  • good attendance/ class participation

  • reading assignments

  • Four (4) in-class thought papers

  • Five (5) tests (the final exam is the fifth test and will be cumulative)

Academic Integrity: You are encouraged to become familiar with the University’s Policy of Academic dishonesty found in the Student Handbook. The content of the Handbook applies to this course. If you are in doubt regarding the requirements, please consult with me before you complete any requirements of the course.
Cell Phones: Cell phone ringers must be turned off during class. Laptop computers are allowed, as long as their presence does not disturb other students in the class.
ODA: The University of North Texas is on record as being committed to both the spirit and letter of federal equal opportunity legislation; reference Public Law 92-112 – The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended. With the passage of new federal legislation entitled Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), pursuant to section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, there is renewed focus on providing this population with the same opportunities enjoyed by all citizens. As a faculty member, I am required by law to provide "reasonable accommodations" to students with disabilities, so as not to discriminate on the basis of that disability. Student responsibility primarily rests with informing faculty of their need for accommodation and in providing authorized documentation through designated administrative channels. Information regarding specific diagnostic criteria and policies for obtaining academic accommodations can be found at Also, you may visit the Office of Disability Accommodation in the University Union (room 321) or call (940) 565-4323.
Attendance: We will meet Tues, Thurs, 9:30am-10:50am in LIFE A204. Conscientious attendance is critical to your success in this course.

Tests. Each test will consist of both multiple choice questions and short answer essay questions. The final exam will be cumulative. There will be no make-up exams. If you know you will miss an exam, you must contact the instructor at least 3 days prior to the exam date to schedule a make-up.
Thought Papers. The thought papers will be completed in class on assigned days. If you miss a class on which a thought paper is due, you will receive a zero for that paper.
Thought Papers: 5% each x 4 = 20%

Tests: 15% each x 4 = 60%

Final Exam: = 20%
Extra Credit: You may earn extra credit by participating in research studies listed at Each research credit is worth 0.5% points on your final class average. Max research credits = 10 (5%).
Percentage Course Grade

90-100 A

80-89 B

70-79 C

60-69 D

0-59 F
Incompletes: Incompletes will be given in accordance with the university’s policy.

Day Topic Reading Assignment

Tue 1/15 Intro/Syllabus

Thur 1/17 Intro to Learning and Memory Chap 1 (Purdy)

Tue 1/22 Classical Conditioning Chap 2 (Purdy)

Thur 1/24 Classical Conditioning

Tue 1/29 Instrumental/Operant Conditioning Chap 4 (Purdy)

Thur 1/31 Instrumental/Operant Conditioning

Tue 2/5* Instrumental/Operant Conditioning

Thur 2/7 Test 1

Tue 2/12 Historical Background Chap 1

Thur 2/14 Sensory Memory Chap 2

Tue 2/19 Short-term Memory Chap 3

Thur 2/21 Short-term Memory

Tue 2/26* Working Memory Chap 4

Thur 2/28 Test 2

Tue 3/5 Perspectives on Processing Chap 5

Thur 3/7 Forgetting Chap 6

Tue 3/12 Spring Break

Thur 3/14 Spring Break

Tue 3/19 Implicit Memory Chap 7

Thur 3/21 The Brain and Amnesia Chap 8, Watch “Memento”

Tue 3/26 The Brain and Amnesia

Thur 3/28 The Brain and Amnesia

Tue 4/2* The Brain and Amnesia

Thur 4/4 Test 3

Tue 4/9 Face Recognition

Thur 4/11 Knowledge/Spread of Activation Chap 10

Tue 4/16 Reconstructive Memory Chap 12

Thur 4/18 Reconstructive Memory

Tue 4/23* Mnemonics Chap 15

Thur 4/25 Test 4

Tue 4/30 Special Topics

Thur 5/2 Review for Final

Tues 5/7 Final Exam (8am-10am)

* In-class thought papers due

**Although we will do our best to follow this schedule, some topics may take longer or shorter than expected. Hence this schedule is subject to change throughout the semester. The final exam date is the only date that is not subject to change.

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