Basic and Applied Memory Research: Practical Applications - Vol. 2

By Douglas J. Herrmann; Cathy McEvoy et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TEN Memory and Analogical Reasoning

Elke van der Meer
Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany

The organism is constantly exposed to a large amount of information. But its information processing capacity is restricted. Based on need and depending on the task to be performed, only a small amount of relevant information is selected for conscious processing, a procedure referred to as the selective and optimizing function of the human brain. This is quite unique: No technical or other system has reached a comparable level.

By contrast, thinking as expressed, for example, in problem solving and especially in reasoning is considered to create an extension of available information by means of internal cognitive processes. Fig. 10.1 illustrates these aspects by making use of the compartment model suggested by Klix ( 1984, 1992).

The model describes aspects of the acquisition and representation of knowledge in long-term memory (LTM). Concepts and the relations between them are considered to be basic components of knowledge. Information from the environment is mediated by sensory systems. LTM is divided into two parts: The quasi-stationary part comprises concepts, stored relations between them, and attached wordmarks, that is, the "open" mental lexicon. The procedural part comprises procedures of different types (e.g. comparison, concatenation, reduction, transformation, etc.) that process information from the environment as well as from the quasi-stationary part of LTM. They take place within a functional unit, the so-called operational compartment. The operational compartment (working memory, short-term memory) initiates and controls a variety of detection techniques and problem-solving

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