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The Memory ProcessNeuroscientific and Humanistic Perspectives$
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Suzanne Nalbantian, Paul M. Matthews, and James L. McClelland

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262014571

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262014571.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 24 October 2021

Memory as a Constructive Process

Memory as a Constructive Process

The Parallel Distributed Processing Approach

6 (p.129) Memory as a Constructive Process
The Memory Process

James L. McClelland

The MIT Press

This chapter offers a scientific theory of the nature of human memory that fits naturally with the view of memory as a constructive process. This theory, the complementary learning systems theory, is grounded in a broad framework for understanding human cognitive processes called the parallel distributed processing (PDP) framework, a framework the author of this chapter helped develop with David Rumelhart and others in 1986. At the time the theory was presented in 1995, the focus was on one of the theory's two complementary learning systems, a fast-learning system in the medial temporal lobes of the brain. Subsequent work with Timothy Rogers, presented in Semantic Cognition, focused on the other, slow-learning system, located elsewhere in the neocortex. Later sections lay out the theory itself and distinguish it from other researchers' approaches to the neuroscience of memory. It then considers recent developments, as well as questions about the theory and its relevance to the humanities.

Keywords:   scientific theory, nature of human memory, constructive process, complementary learning systems theory, parallel distributed processing framework, PDP, fast-learning system, slow-learning system

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