Memory and human survival essay

Philosophical intuition[ edit ] Bernard Williams presents a thought experiment appealing to the intuitions about what it is to be the same person in the future. For the first approach Williams suggests that suppose that there is some process by which subjecting two persons to it can result in the two persons have " exchanged " bodies.

Memory and human survival essay

Thompson, and Josefa N. Participants were told to imagine themselves in one of three randomly assigned scenarios. In the Survival condition, they imagine being stranded in a grassland area of a foreign land, and need to find a steady supply of food and water, and protect themselves from predators.

The second condition was the Moving condition. Participants were instructed to imagine themselves moving to a foreign land, needing to locate a new home and transporting their possessions.

Finally, the Pleasantness condition asked participants to simply rate the pleasantness of a list of words. In the Survival and Moving conditions, participants were asked to rate the relevance of each word on a list to their imagined situation.

Participants were then subject to a surprise recall test. This became clear following free recall experiments conducted by Nairne and colleagues. Because many survival situations are emotionally arousing, retention is enhanced. Figuring out selection pressures can be difficult.

Post-hoc accounts, also known as just-so storiesare an important problem to avoid.

Memory and human survival essay

The methodology for testing adaptive memory and the survival advantage in human participants has thus far mostly consisted of ranking lists of words by their relevance to a survival setting and along control dimensions as wellfollowed by a recall session.

In the control condition, the words were rated for their relevance to moving for a foreign land, and their pleasantness.

A surprise recall test is administered, and recall of the listed words in all three conditions is recorded and analyzed. It is suspected that this result is due to the human mind Memory and human survival essay scenarios relevant to our species' ancestral past, even though threats present in a modern urban society are far more relevant today.

There was a greater memory recall in both the ancestral and modern survival conditions when compared to pleasantness control conditions, but only the ancestral condition presented significantly greater word recall.

Both conditions are fitness-relevant, but there was no memory enhancement for survival processing in the modern context. No significant data were found. The idea that we are able to retain information most relevant to our own survival provides a foundation of research for empirical studying of memory through an evolutionary lens.

True and false memory[ edit ] The survival processing advantage has been shown to increase both true and false memory in adults and children. True memory refers to the correct retention of information. False memory means remembering something that was never present. A false memory is not necessarily maladaptive.

Kelly Cefalu on Primo Levi (/)

Misremembering can have advantages in certain situations for example, misremembering an environment with predator tracks as the actual presence of a predator may lead to avoidance of that area in the future. False memory can be seen as a side-effect to an otherwise highly adaptive process.

This was suggested in a recent study that tested spatial memory for various food items, [12] with additional predictions later extended and validated. It has been suggested that calorie-dense foods are an important resource to be able to gather in an ancestral environment, and the inability to locate this kind of food would put an organism at a disadvantage.

Although there has not been any research done on the direct neurological processes that go on during an adaptive memory consolidation, there is a growing body of evidence that the neurotransmitter dopamine modulates the hippocampusa cortical structure brain structure crucial to memory. The release of dopamine has been known to be associated with events of a motivationally important nature, [15] and has a role in the creation of episodic memories and the consolidation thereof.

Episodic memories are crucial in the development and implementation of adaptive future behaviours, [16] for which adaptive memory is a very central construct. Proximate mechanisms responsible for survival processing[ edit ] It has been suggested that the recall advantage for survival processing can be attributed to the use of both item-specific processing the encoding of individual characteristics of items and relational processing encoding the relationships between items.

It was found that the survival advantage was present when words were encoded using only item-specific or only relational processing, but was eliminated in cases where both methods of encoding were encouraged.

Human learning and survival Essay Example for Free

Evidence suggests that it is possible that the survival task might generate self-referential processing, which may be responsible for the reported recall improvements, since considering one's own survival is very self-relevant. Adaptive memory behaviours have been observed in animal species, as well as humans.

John Garcia discovered that taste aversion conditioning in rats results in a lasting association between sickness and an ingested substance, and that aversion can be established after only one trial. The results of a study that compared rats and quail in the acquisition of taste aversion suggested that rats rely on their memory of taste to avoid nausea while quail relied on their visual memory.

In a study of black-capped chickadees Poecile atricapilla from Alaska and Coloradothose birds from Alaska cached more food, remembered the hiding places more quickly and readily, and had significantly larger hippocampal volumes than black-capped chickadees from Colorado.

This supports what is known as the adaptive specialization hypothesis. The adaptive specialization hypothesis states that animals that hide food should have bigger hippocampi than animals that do not hide food.The Human Memory Model Essay Memory, Thinking, and Intelligence Memory is The human memory processing system is comprised of an input or encoding stage, a storage process, and a retrieval process, the human memory also tends to forget quite a bit of information.

Essay (back to top). In December in northern Italy, a small anti-fascist, anti-Nazi resistance group with only 9 members, including a Jewish Italian named Primo Levi, was infiltrated by the Fascist Militia and its members were sent to a detention camp in Fossoli, Italy.

In this essay I will explore the human memory and how it relates to the following things: information processing theory, nature of sensory register, and the role of attention.

Memory and human survival essay

I will also explain to the best of my ability the nature of the working memory, how the brain connect new information with prior knowledge and the nature of long term memory.

We will write a custom essay sample on Threats to Human Survival? specifically for you for only $ $/page. Order now Climate change, the rate of extinction of species and the challenge of feeding a growing population are among the threats putting humanity at risk, the UN Environment Program said in its fourth Global Environmental.

Human survival especially in times of vast environmental change is the result of a combination of learning, logic, reasoning and subsequent application of knowledge. The thing that sets humankind apart from other living things is intellect, which according to the dictionary is the ability to learn and reason.

Mental Capacity, Retain Information, Brain - Memory and Human Survival.

Adaptive memory - Wikipedia