Animal Memory by Werner K. Honig and P. H. R. James (Eds.)

By Werner K. Honig and P. H. R. James (Eds.)

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These competitors (especially the interference theories) are in one sense rather attractive. They offer an explanation for forgetting that requires no further physiological machinery beyond that already required for learning itself; perhaps this is one reason for their continued popularity. But the actual state of affairs may be quite different: The assumption that memory traces are permanent is no more plausible than the assertion that they (or perhaps their Recent investigators of animal memory have discovered an important fact that might perhaps b e explained as a stimulus change effect o f this kind: Infant rats forget much more quickly than adult ones, a phenomenon found both in aversive (Campbell & Campbell, 1 9 6 2 ; Smith, 1968) and in appetitive learning situations (Campbell, Jaynes, & Misanin, 1 9 6 8 ) .

But this argument is hardly compelling, especially since the evidence for the competitors of decay theory is so very meager. These competitors (especially the interference theories) are in one sense rather attractive. They offer an explanation for forgetting that requires no further physiological machinery beyond that already required for learning itself; perhaps this is one reason for their continued popularity. But the actual state of affairs may be quite different: The assumption that memory traces are permanent is no more plausible than the assertion that they (or perhaps their Recent investigators of animal memory have discovered an important fact that might perhaps b e explained as a stimulus change effect o f this kind: Infant rats forget much more quickly than adult ones, a phenomenon found both in aversive (Campbell & Campbell, 1 9 6 2 ; Smith, 1968) and in appetitive learning situations (Campbell, Jaynes, & Misanin, 1 9 6 8 ) .

Pfluegers Archiv fuer die Gesamte Physiologie des Menschen und der Tiere, 1 9 6 8 , 3 0 1 , 1 - 6 . Ebbinghaus, H. Das Gedächtnis: Untersuchungen zur experimentellen Psychologie. Leipzig: Duncker & Humbolt, 1 8 8 5 . Ehrenfreund, D . , & Allen, J. Perfect retention of an instrumental response. Psychonomic Science, 1 9 6 4 , 1, 3 4 7 - 3 4 8 . Ekstrand, B. , & Underwood, Β. J. Free learning and recall as a function o f unit-sequence and letter-sequence interference. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 1965,4,390-396.

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