Humanlike Characteristics of Visual Mnemonic System in Macaques

  • Robert W. Doty
  • James L. Ringo
  • Jeffrey D. Lewine


Although there is still significant controversy as to whether in man each memory endures indefinitely in unaltered form (Bahrich et al., 1975; Hall and Loftus, 1984), any normal human being can unequivocally attest to a vast inventory of remembered material that is retained lifelong. The accuracy of this mnemonic store can seldom be assessed, but common experience suggests that the great majority of it is valid. In a few cases in which something approaching formal testing was achieved in, admittedly, possibly unique individuals (e.g., Luria, 1968; Hunter, 1977), trivial, unrehearsed material could be retrieved with astonishing accuracy after a lapse of 15 to 30 or more years (and see Neisser, 1982, for a collection of other examples). In tests of undergraduate college students, Standing (1973) was able to demonstrate, using 10,000 photographic slides that took several days to view, that a very large proportion of constantly changing visual scenes could still be recognized after a lapse of several days. Thus, the human mnemonic system can be characterized as being highly resistant to saturation (Nickerson, 1965) and capable of permanent retention and retrieval of information acquired in a single, brief exposure.


Target Item Visual Memory Nontarget Item Photographic Slide Transect Fornix 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert W. Doty
    • 1
  • James L. Ringo
    • 1
  • Jeffrey D. Lewine
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Brain ResearchUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA

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