Crustacean Optomotor Memory

  • Richard Hirsh


In order to know where the process of information storage can be observed, almost all attempts to determine the physiological basis of memory have begun by trying to localize a storage site. At the same time, there is no widely agreed-on operational definition of memory storage which controls for all of the other processes that various schools of psychology have thought to be attendant upon the performance of learned behavior. As a result, none of the candidates for storage sites that have been advanced so far has gained widespread acceptance. However, an alternative approach is available. It begins by determining what information is remembered. Then, by applying a knowledge of the information-processing abilities of the nervous system in question, it attempts to localize storage sites. This rather tall order is more likely to be achieved in invertebrates because of the smaller number of neurons present and the relative ease with which functionally identifiable neurons may be located. In any case, however, determining the content of a memory will not be wasted effort. The ultimate step in demonstrating that a particular medium stores acquired information is showing that a given piece of information is encoded by it. Such a demonstration requires a knowledge of what has been remembered.


Dark Period Response Strength Memory Response Positive Displacement Black Stripe 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Hirsh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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