and long-term will very plausibly comment on two of our concerns in this chapter. First, the uninterrupted pace of contextual change could provide the constancy that gives "primary memory" its Jamesian recollective experience of belonging to the conscious present. Second, the source of classical amnesia may be understood by virtue of a special vulnerability, or fragility in the sense of neo- consolidation theory, of the contextual connections with other aspects of the processing system. The argument that amnesia could not be a disturbance of consciousness is a well-understood proviso in the theory of amnesia--anmesics show no obvious signs of not being aware of the world around them as they go about their lives. It is the survival of traces connecting this awareness with the processing systems used in the past that may be disturbed.
This does not sound to me like a distinction between procedural and declarative memory as two systems, as such. It sounds like one element of normal memory--the knowledge that that processing occurred in that context--is compromised. On the other hand, if we have a model of memory that is vertically modular, each of quite a few coding formats distinct from the others, then loss of context connections would be just the loss of information of one among many specialized codes.
I greatly appreciate the comments of my colleagues Donald Broadbent, Fergus Craik, and Michael Watkins on an earlier version of this chapter, whose preparation was also supported by Grant BNS 86 08344 from the National Science Foundation.
Anderson J. R., & Bower G. H. ( 1972). "Recognition and retrieval processes in free recall". Psychological Review, 79, 97-123.
Baddeley A. D. ( 1983). "Working memory". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, B, 382, 311-324.
Baddeley A. D. ( 1986). Working memory. New York: Oxford University Press.
Baddeley A. D., & Hitch G. J. ( 1974). Working memory. In G. H. Bower (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation, (Vol. 8), (pp. 47-89). New York: Academic Press.
Baddeley A. D., & Hitch G. J. ( 1977). Recency revisited. In S. Domic (Ed.), Attention and Performance 6 (pp. 647-667). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Baddeley A. D., & Scott D. ( 1971). "Short-term forgetting in the absence of proactive inhibition". Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 23, 275-283.
Baddeley A. D., Thomson N., & Buchanan M. ( 1975). "Word length and the structure of short- term memory". Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 14, 575-589.
Bennett R. W. ( 1975). "Proactive interference in short-term memory: Fundamental forgetting processes". Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 14, 123-144.