Re: types of longterm memory

Anders Sandberg (
Thu, 14 Aug 1997 15:01:22 +0200 (MET DST)

On Wed, 13 Aug 1997, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

> For what it's worth, I should note that episodic memory may not be as simple
> as it sounds, going on my personal experience. My memory is very strongly
> episodic, but not linear. I can't remember whether A happened before B, how
> long ago it happened, whether it happened at the same time... to the point I
> really don't have a past; just a lot of unconnected memories.

Yes, there is more to episodic memory than just storing linear
experiences. In fact, each episode seems to be largely unconnected to
the others, for example I can recall a small episode last christmas
when I gave my grandfather an aspirin, but I cannot recall the
preceeding or subsequent episodes.

There is a term sometimes used in psychology, source memory, for our
memory of when and how we learned something. It seems to be impaired
in people with frontal lobe damage, as well as the ability to tell if
episode A came before or after episode B. So my guess is that this
kind of time-binding memory is likely closely linked to the frontal
lobes, although the episodes themselves can be triggered by
electrical stimulation of the temporal lobes.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y