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The Nature of Distributed Learning and Remembering

Asghar Iran-Nejad and Abdollah Homaifar
The Journal of Mind and Behavior
Vol. 21, No. 1/2, SPECIAL ISSUE: Brain, Knowledge, and Self-Regulation (Winter and Spring, 2000), pp. 153-183
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43853913
Page Count: 31
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Nature of Distributed Learning and Remembering
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Abstract

Researchers have held different views on what role the nervous system should play in the study of psychological phenomena. By far, the most informative line of research in the area has been conducted by Lashley whose work has opened our eyes to the possi' bility that learning and remembering are unexplainable in terms of the storage and retrieval of specific traces. However, with this exception, the twentieth century is likely to be remembered as an era during which the brain has been considered irrelevant for the study of the mind. This has certainly been the case with the research following the computer-inspired cognitive revolution. Perhaps the most revealing indication of the degree of reluctance to embrace the brain in the study of the mind can be found in the so-called brain-inspired connectionism that purports to use the brain as a metaphor, and not as the literal foundation it really is, for the structure of cognition. Focusing on the topics of learning and remembering, this paper discusses the role of the brain in the research of Lashley, brain-inspired connectionism, and the emerging field of biofunctional cognition. The hope is to illustrate, through biofunctional cognition, the productive nature of basing psychological thinking on the foundation of a comprehensive theory of the functioning of the nervous system.

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