Dse 212 Tma04

Discuss the extent to which research on atypical memory function can help our understanding of how memory works.

Memory is a fundamental part of us. It helps us learn, function, develop personality and contributes greatly to our on-going experience of life. Our memories make us what we are. It is therefore easy to see why psychologists study many different theories of memory, what it is, where it is and how it works. It is studied both from in insider viewpoint and an outsider viewpoint using a wide variety of research methods. Research into memory processes and structures was based on behaviour, using data that was observed, collected, measured and recorded. Early pioneers in the field explored memory processing, storage and retrieval. And this information processing theory stimulated many avenues of research within cognitive psychology.

Broca And Wernike in the 19th century identified the value of research into atypical memory function. They studied people with brain lesions and formed a theory about the localisation of activity in the brain’s functions by associating the brain injuries with the area of the brain that controls language..  

Neuropsychological case studies have provided material data on where in the brain the memory functions, through a process of double dissociation. Warrington and Shallice (1969) and Scoville and Milner(1957). KF damaged his parietal and occipital lobe in a motorbike accident and could only remember one or two items in his short term memory (STM) but had no problems with his long term memory. Another patient HM had both his hippocampus and temporal cortex in each hemisphere removed and he was unable to form any new long term memories. His STM was intact and he could remember things from before the operation but could not remember or retain new information or experiences for more than a few seconds. These studies provided evidence that when comparisons are made between opposing debility in memory function and the areas...