Evolving Concepts of Memory

  • D. Ewen Cameron


The last few decades have changed our concepts of memory beyond recognition. It is true that some of the older designations remain. But the mechanisms we now recognize—the conceptual framework which we use for thinking about memory—and the means which we are working out and putting together with such rapidity to control the various mechanisms of memory are profoundly different from those of 30 years ago. In 1936 R. D. Gillespie [1] was using the blueprint shown in Fig. 1 to describe his concept of the memorial process. It is almost identical with that which Plato used over 2000 years ago. From this has begun to evolve an advanced idea that there is not simply one memory system, but many. Our current working diagram of the various mechanisms of the memorial process is depicted in Fig. 2. The memorial process is not a biochemical system, and it is just as assuredly not a pattern of behavior. It is essentially an organismal system.


Memorial Process Digit Span Presidential Address Magnesium Hydroxide OXAZOLI DINONE 
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© Plenum Press 1967

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  • D. Ewen Cameron

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