Quiz about Elephants Can Remember
Quiz about Elephants Can Remember

Elephants Can Remember Trivia Quiz


Agatha's Christie's mystery novel of the same name delves into the subject of witness memory. In homage to the story, this quiz will take an in-depth look at the subject of memory. Can you solve the mystery that is memory? (Watch for hidden clues.)

A multiple-choice quiz by tazman6619. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
tazman6619
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
358,060
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
662
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
1. In the novel, elephants are elderly witnesses to a crime that occurred ten years earlier. They are called this because hopefully like the proverbial elephant, they have long memories and can provide answers from the distant past. In order to understand memory we must first understand the processes involved. Three of the four answers listed below are stages in the formation of memory, which is NOT? Hint

Encoding
Elimination
Storage
Retrieval

2. Since the crime occurred ten years in the past, the most relevant type of memory Poirot will need to consider is long term memory. In this case his focus will be on episodic memory. Episodic memory can be worse in older adults because of which of these circumstantial factors? Hint

It is implicit memory.
It is context independent memory.
It is context dependent memory.
It is procedural memory.

3. As Poirot questions the witnesses, he will be dealing with another type of memory - retrospective memory. Many parts of the brain play a role in retrospective memory but one part more than any other plays a role in the emotional aspects of retrospective memory. Which part is this that is located deep within the medial temporal lobes? Hint

Thalamus
Amygdalae
Hippocampus
Medial prefrontal cortex

4. One of the issues the novel deals with is the misremembering of events. This phenomenon can come about from several causes, including suggestibility and misattribution among others. What is the name for the phenomenon of misremembering? Hint

The disinformation effect
The misinformation effect
Malformed memories
Confused recall

5. In order to try to trigger a memory, Poirot might play Frank Sinatra singing:
"Some day when I'm awfully low
When the world is cold
I will feel a glow just thinking of you
And the way you look tonight."

The phrase "the way you look tonight" would initially involve sight. Which of these sensory memories is the visual one?
Hint

Echoic memory
Iconic memory
Haptic memory
Gothic memory

6. Poirot's probing of witnesses reminded him of George A. Miller's "Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two" first introduced in 1956. What is this number a measure of? Hint

The number of tasks a person can perform in working memory
The duration of sensory memory in seconds
The number of objects a normal person can hold in short term memory
The duration of short term memory in minutes

7. Short term memory and working memory are generally accepted as the same concept with no real distinction between the two terms.

True
False

8. As Poirot investigates the case and learns more information, his mind will be using working memory. The Baddeley and Hitch working memory model was first proposed in 1974 and consisted of three main components. In 2000, Baddeley added a fourth component that is based on a part of long term memory. Of the four listed below, which one was added in 2000? Hint

Episodic buffer
Visuospatial sketchpad
Phonological loop
Central executive

9. Earlier Poirot had tried using a Frank Sinatra song to stimulate a witness' memory. Having found some success he decides to use some classical music for the same reason. What is the name for the phenomenon where classical music has been shown to aid memory? Hint

The Baroque Corollary
The Bach Causation
The Mozart Effect
The Verdi Response

10. One of the more intriguing mysteries surrounding Christie's "Elephants Can Remember" is the clear deterioration in the writing as is evidenced by a 2007 University of Toronto study. What did the study's author propose was the cause of this deterioration in language use? Hint

Alzheimer's disease
Parkinson's disease
Lou Gehrig's disease
Tourette's Syndrome


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. In the novel, elephants are elderly witnesses to a crime that occurred ten years earlier. They are called this because hopefully like the proverbial elephant, they have long memories and can provide answers from the distant past. In order to understand memory we must first understand the processes involved. Three of the four answers listed below are stages in the formation of memory, which is NOT?

Answer: Elimination

The three main stages involved in the formation of memory are Encoding or registration, Storage, and Retrieval. Elimination has nothing to do with memory. Information comes into the brain first through sensory memory which lasts but a few seconds and over which the individual has no control. This involves the five senses. Information must first come through the senses. From there it is transferred into short term memory. And finally it is transferred to long term memory.

The distinction between these three is not set in stone and there are various models and theories on exactly how memory works. The Atkinson-Shiffrin memory model maintains these three as distinct stores of memory. The working memory model as proposed by Baddeley and Hitch draws less distinction between the three and sees them working together more. But in both cases because of the relatively short duration of both sensory memory and short term memory, encoding, storage, and retrieval are almost exclusively related to long term memory.
2. Since the crime occurred ten years in the past, the most relevant type of memory Poirot will need to consider is long term memory. In this case his focus will be on episodic memory. Episodic memory can be worse in older adults because of which of these circumstantial factors?

Answer: It is context dependent memory.

Episodic memory is context dependent memory. In other words it depends on the circumstances in which it is created. Episodic memory is part of explicit memory and is therefore completely different from implicit memory. Studies have shown that older adults have worse episodic memories than younger people precisely because episodic memory is context dependent.

As a whole long term memory (LTM) is divided into two major headings:
1) Explicit memory or declarative memory is the term used for all memories that are consciously available, meaning able to be recalled by the individual. Explicit memory is encoded by the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, and perirhinal cortex. Explicit memory is further divided into episodic memory, memory for specific events in time, and Semantic memory, memory of factual information.
2) Implicit memory or procedural memory is the term used for movements of the body, like riding a bicycle for example. Implicit memory is controlled by the basal ganglia and independent of the hippocampus.
3. As Poirot questions the witnesses, he will be dealing with another type of memory - retrospective memory. Many parts of the brain play a role in retrospective memory but one part more than any other plays a role in the emotional aspects of retrospective memory. Which part is this that is located deep within the medial temporal lobes?

Answer: Amygdalae

The amygdalae got their name from their almond shape and are located deep within the medial temporal lobes. Each amygdala plays a primary role in emotions and memory and as such play a primary role in retrospective memory that has an emotional component. All of the other parts of the brain also play roles in memory and retrospective memory but none deal with the emotional component.

Retrospective memory is closely tied to prospective memory. Where retrospective memory looks back on events and things that have happened in the past, prospective memory concerns events that are yet to come. For example, remembering to go to the grocery store on the way home from work would be prospective memory. Prospective memory almost always relies in some way on retrospective memory as part of accomplishing its task but retrospective memory does not need prospective memory. Retrospective memory covers several different aspects of long term memory including episodic, autobiographical, and semantic. One of the more interesting areas of research in this field is the idea of mental time travel (MTT) or going back in time in the subject's memory and reliving events as if they are occurring right now. MTT has also been studied in relation to prospective memory and attempts to see what will be or to project what will be.
4. One of the issues the novel deals with is the misremembering of events. This phenomenon can come about from several causes, including suggestibility and misattribution among others. What is the name for the phenomenon of misremembering?

Answer: The misinformation effect

Disinformation is an attempt to deceive by means of providing false information, especially by a government to the media, the public, or a rival government. This is completely different from the misinformation effect which involves unintentional misremembering of past events when intervening misinformation affects the subject's ability to recall events clearly. Essentially new information retroactively influences the memory and changes the subject's ability to clearly recall what had previously been encoded.

The misinformation effect has been the subject of extensive study for over thirty years and Elizabeth Loftus has been one of the foremost researchers in the field.
5. In order to try to trigger a memory, Poirot might play Frank Sinatra singing: "Some day when I'm awfully low When the world is cold I will feel a glow just thinking of you And the way you look tonight." The phrase "the way you look tonight" would initially involve sight. Which of these sensory memories is the visual one?

Answer: Iconic memory

Sensory memory involves all of the senses but has only been extensively studied in three - sight, hearing, and touch. Iconic memory is sight based memory, haptic memory is touch based memory, and echoic memory is sound based memory. Gothic memory is something I made up. Most memory models consider sensory memory to only last long enough for its information to be transferred to short term memory. Sensory memory is not involved in higher cognitive functions and cannot be controlled by higher cognitive functions. Basically this means sensory memory plays no role in the formation of long term memory and cannot be consciously controlled by a person's mind.
6. Poirot's probing of witnesses reminded him of George A. Miller's "Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two" first introduced in 1956. What is this number a measure of?

Answer: The number of objects a normal person can hold in short term memory

Miller postulated in "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information" that a person's short term memory can only store seven objects at a time plus or minus two. This means he maintained a person could hold anywhere from five to nine things in short term memory at any one time. This concept is frequently referred to as Miller's Law.

In 2001, Nelson Cowan postulated that the magic number is actually only four and compared it with subitizing. Subitizing is the ability to know the number of a small number of objects without actually counting with a brief glimpse. It is theorized that this number is also four.
7. Short term memory and working memory are generally accepted as the same concept with no real distinction between the two terms.

Answer: false

Short term memory and working memory are two different concepts. The concept of short term memory was developed first and referred to a person's ability to hold objects in the mind for a short time before either encoding them into long term memory or losing them. Working memory was theorized to include manipulation and organization of information in this short term arena by either using new information or recalling information from long term memory.

In either case the information is then either returned to long term memory as a new or changed memory or lost just like in short term memory.
8. As Poirot investigates the case and learns more information, his mind will be using working memory. The Baddeley and Hitch working memory model was first proposed in 1974 and consisted of three main components. In 2000, Baddeley added a fourth component that is based on a part of long term memory. Of the four listed below, which one was added in 2000?

Answer: Episodic buffer

This question was meant to test your short term memory because it refers back to information provided in question 2 of this quiz. Episodic memory is part of long term memory. The episodic buffer was added in 2000 to integrate information that comes from the other two slave components, namely the phonological loop (PL) and the visuospatial sketchpad (VSS).

In the original Baddeley and Hitch working memory model, the PL and the VSS were controlled by the central executive. The PL deals with sound and verbal memory and the VSS deals with sight memory.

The episodic buffer was added to take into account information that encompasses sound, visual, spatial, and verbal information. The central executive is still seen as controlling all three.
9. Earlier Poirot had tried using a Frank Sinatra song to stimulate a witness' memory. Having found some success he decides to use some classical music for the same reason. What is the name for the phenomenon where classical music has been shown to aid memory?

Answer: The Mozart Effect

The Mozart Effect was first proposed by Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis in 1991 in his book "Pourquoi Mozart?" ("Why Mozart?"). In 1993, researchers Rauscher, Shaw, and Ky investigated the influence of Mozart on spatial reasoning and demonstrated a temporary enhancement. However, this enhancement did not last beyond 15 minutes and the results of their study have been greatly misinterpreted. Although subsequent studies have shown some supportive results for the initial study, the more general consensus is that any music that has energetic and positive emotional qualities helped improve memory and learning. It appears the enjoyment was more important than the source and that it is the enjoyment that brought about any improvement seen in subsequent studies. This is not to say that music cannot help a person remember but rather is looking at whether or not it improves the mechanism of memory and intelligence. The subject matter remains an intense realm of research.

Although no real causative effect was found in any particular form of music for increasing long term memory or intelligence, music has been shown to be quite evocative when tied to emotion. Hearing a song you fell in love to can take you back in your memory to that very event as if it were happening right now. Advertisement uses music to help customers remember products. Further, studies have demonstrated improvement in the lives of patients suffering from various forms of dementia by evoking positive emotions tied to the music even if the specific events are long forgotten. One British study even found music helped epileptics have less epileptic brain activity.
10. One of the more intriguing mysteries surrounding Christie's "Elephants Can Remember" is the clear deterioration in the writing as is evidenced by a 2007 University of Toronto study. What did the study's author propose was the cause of this deterioration in language use?

Answer: Alzheimer's disease

The 2007 study conducted by Dr Ian Lancashire, English department, and Dr Graeme Hirst, computer science, found that Christie's "Elephants Can Remember" showed clear patterns of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. The deterioration in her writing could not be attributed solely to the aging process as it was far more pronounced and in line with what happens to patients suffering dementia. Whether Christie was consciously aware of what was happening to her mind, the novel's subject matter and how the case progressed and was eventually solved show at least an unconscious awareness.

The Christie study supports an earlier 2004 study on the last novel of Iris Murdoch, "Jackson's Dilemma", which also used computer analysis and showed marked decline in language use. Murdoch was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease a year after the release of the novel.
Source: Author tazman6619

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor WesleyCrusher before going online.
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