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What has research seeking the engram, conducted by Lashley, conclusively demonstrated?

Question:

What has research seeking the engram, conducted by Lashley, conclusively demonstrated?

Engram Theories:

After his experiments, Lashley proposed the principles of "mass action," that memories are scattered around the entire context, and "equipotentiality," that any part of the cortex can take on this role. They are opposed by the "functional specialization" theory, which asserts that different parts of the brain are specialized for specific functions.

Answer and Explanation:

The "engram" Karl Lashley searched for was the theorized specific brain region where memories are stored. In his studies, he trained rats to perform certain tasks, usually navigating mazes, and then lesioned their brains before testing them on the task. The idea was that whichever rats suffered an inability to perform must have lost the memory of their training, so whichever part of the brain was lesioned must have been the engram.

What he found was that the rats' lost memories depended not on what part of the brain was removed, but by how much. This proved that memories are not located in a single spot, but distributed throughout the brain.


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Psychology Case Study: Memory & Clive Wearing

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Chapter 7 / Lesson 7
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Understand Clive Wearing and his memory as a case study in psychology. Discover what the absence of memory and presence of amnesia means in Clive Wearing's life.


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