Endel Tulving: A Brief Summary

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After reading an article by Endel Tulving, he talks about memory retrieval with regards to the human brain. He states in his thesis "The purpose of the present article is to question the traditional view that remembering the past and knowing things learned in the past represent similar cognitive processes" (Tulving, 1989). He continues by saying "I would suggest that remembering and knowing, as these terms are used here, are more appropriately conceptualized as operations of two hypothetical memory systems, episodic and semantic memory, and that in that sense they are not only similar, as all memory systems must be, but also basically different" (Tulving, 1989). In Tulving's first piece of evidence to support the above thesis he uses an example of a case study. He talks about "a 30-year-old man, whom we shall call K.C., had an accident that changed his life" (Tulving, 1989). He goes on to talk about the accident and how this accident affected K.C.'s life, because he "has retained his knowledge of how he played chess, but he cannot remember having played chess before, with anyone. He can only guess that he played with his father, because he knows his father plays chess" (Tulving, 1989). He continues to write that he "knows the meaning of technical terms such as…show more content…
Moreover, “a behavioural syndrome results showing not only semantic-memory impairment but also particular difficulty remembering past events as personal happenings” (Tulving, 1989). Lastly, in Endel Tulving’s conclusion to his article he states “traditionally held views about the unity of memory are no longer tenable. A more appropriate view seems to be that of multiple memory systems. Remembering one’s past is a different, perhaps more advanced, achievement of the brain than simply knowing about it” (Tulving,
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