From: Scott Chase (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu 21 Apr 2005 - 14:21:19 GMT
In his 1958 paper "Cerebral organization and behavior"
here's an interesting quote from Karl Lashley to
ruminate upon, given the tension that exists between
notions of replication, transformation and
Lashley writes (found in Orbach, p 371):
[KL] "We remember the content of a book, not in the
author's words but in meanings which fit into previous
knowledge of the subject. During the reading the
meanings are not necessarily formulated clearly in
verbal or other thought forms, but they may be so
formulated later. That is, associations may be formed
during reading with traces in the system which are not
activated above tonic levels during learning."
Would this passage support replication, transformation
or recreation? Words are supposedly "digital" and we'd
thus assume a replication based on transmission of
language content, yet Lashley's saying we don't recall
the author's words but meanings. Previous knowledge
may influence how what we read fits into our mnemic
trace system (or engram store). If we're not actually
replicating the author's words in our knowledge base,
maybe we are transforming them based on our personal
history or we recreate them later? I'll need to digest
Sperber and Bloch for more on these tangents.
When I'm reading Lashley my knowledge base is
influencing the meanings I attribute to his concepts.
When he talks of reduplication of engrams, my
knowledge of replicator theory and memetics is biasing
me towards an interpretation of his concept of
reduplication into terms of internally replicated
engrams that are distributed through the cortex and as
equivalent mental representations they may convey some
redundancy of memory that's impervious to ablation or
minor insult. I'm also thinking in terms of how
unequal crossing over during meiosis may result in
gene duplication and Susumu Ohno's theory of
duplication and divergence. If we have redundancy in
memory traces, maybe we can mutate and recombine some,
while others remain faithful to the original?
I'm also drawing upon my knowledge of Semon's mneme
theory and wondering why (as I think Daniel Schacter
has pointed out) Lashley fails to acknowledge him.
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