The problem of a causal account of memory: A solution and its consequences
Paterno, Joseph W.
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The purpose of this work is to examine some of the challenges facing causal accounts of memory. I will examine the original problem of explaining memory by means of direct causation, as well as problems with traditional storage/retrieval solutions which posit a solution in terms of indirect causation. I provide an examination of criticisms of the traditional solutions and give my own analysis of reasons for their failure. I then examine two contemporary accounts. These are Gerald Edelman's theory of neuronal group selection, and Connectionism based on the notion of distributed representation. I critique their reactions to the shortcomings of the traditional storage/retrieval account, provide a diagnosis of where their views fail to overcome the shortcomings of the earlier views, and provide some recommendations of my own for future research.