The COST of explicit memory

Document Type: 
Article
Article Type: 
Theoretical
Disciplines: 
Psychology
Topics: 
Memory
Keywords: 
Explicit memory, symbolic function, retrograde amnesia, Piaget, stage development, Bergson, Cassirer, hippocampus, time
Deposited by: 
Dr Stephen E Robbins on 08 February 2009
Date of Issue: 
2009
Authors: 
Stephen E. Robbins
Journal/Publication Title: 
Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences
Volume: 
8
Issue Number: 
1
Page Range: 
33-66
Alternative URL: 
http://www.stephenerobbins.com/
Abstract: 
Within Piaget there is an implicit theory of the development of explicit memory. It rests in the dynamical trajectory underlying the development of causality, object, space and time – a complex (COST) supporting a symbolic relationship integral to the explicit. Cassirer noted the same dependency in the phenomena of aphasias, insisting that a symbolic function is being undermined in these deficits. This is particularly critical given the reassessment of Piaget’s stages as the natural bifurcations of a self-organizing dynamic system. The elements of a theoretical framework required to support explicit memory are developed, to include, 1) the complex developmental trajectory supporting the emergence of the explicit in Piaget, 2) the concrete dynamical system and the concept of a non-differentiable time contained in Bergson’s theory required to support a conscious, as opposed to an implicit remembrance, 3) the relation to current theories of amnesia, difficulties posed by certain retrograde amnesic phenomena, the role of the hippocampus and limitations of connectionist models, 4) the fact that nowhere in this overall framework does the loss of explicit memory imply or require the destruction of experience “stored in the brain.”
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