Implicit Memory and Metacognition

By Lynne M. Reder | Go to book overview

Chapter 12
Neural Mechanisms for the Control and Monitoring of Memory: A Parallel Distributed Processing Perspective

James L. McClelland Carnegie Mellon University and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition

The chapters by Shimamura (11), Norman and Schacter (10) and Funnell, Metcalfe, and Tsapkini (7) in this volume exhibit a striking integration of neuroscientific and psychological approaches to metacognition. It seems evident that the boundaries that once existed between these approaches are in the process of vanishing completely. Behavioral, functional imaging, and neuropsychological investigations are providing converging constraints. These constraints are leading to the emergence of theories of (a) the mechanisms of control of information processing; (b) the mechanisms of explicit and implicit memory; and (c) the interplay of these mechanisms in the monitoring and control of memory.

Several modeling frameworks have been developed in which theories relevant to these matters can be cast. Metcalfe's CHARM model ( Metcalfe, 1990, 1993; Metcalfe, Cottrell, & Mencl, 1993) and Anderson's ACT framework ( Anderson, 1983, 1993; Kimberg & Farah, 1993) have both been used productively in efforts to understand aspects of control, memory, and metacognition-cognition. Other theories have been developed within the context of the Parallel Distributed Processing (PDP) framework ( Rumelhart, McClelland, & the PDP Research Group, 1986; McClelland, Rumelhart, & the PDP Research Group, 1986), as this has continued to evolve in research at Carnegie Mellon. This framework provides the prospect of an eventual bridge between the neural and cognitive levels of description, because the constructs used in these models -- the units and connections -- have a relatively direct mapping to the elements found in the brain -- the

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