ART & ORGANISM
useful words: REDINTEGRATION and ECPHORY
“REDINTEGRATION” is “the process of reconstructing a entire complex memory after observing or remembering only a part of it.” (“Many people find that such memories are also touched off by distinctive odors out of the past—a farm visited in childhood, Grandma’s kitchen…The key idea in redintegration is that one memory serves as a cue to trigger another.” As a result, an entire past experience may be reconstituted from one small recollection.”) The recent experience can trigger a recovery of old, forgotten memories (possibly forgotten because they seemed so irrelevant at the time they were acquired) and their reinterpretation in the light of recent experience in which they may be highly relevant.
[Q. AWhat do you think is meant by “Proustian Involuntary Memory?’ A. Possibly the type of memory psychologists refer to a redintegration which is “the process of reconstructing a entire complex memory after observing or remembering only a part of it.” // “Many people find that such memories are also touched off by distinctive odors out of the past–from a farm visited in childhood, Grandma’s kitchen…The key idea in redintegration is that one memory serves as a cue to trigger another.” As a result, an entire past experience may be reconstituted from one small recollection.” C The above comes from INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY: EXPLORATION AND APPLICATION, 7th ed. by Dennis Coon]
“The past” Proust thought, “(was) hidden in some material object…which we do not suspect. And as for that object, it depends on chance whether we come upon it or not….” http://www.triggers.com/tcup_and_mad.html
Remembrance of Things Past (more accurately titled, À La Recherche du Temps Perdu/In Search of Lost Time )
(in a recent New York Times article titled “Emotional Malady Is Linked to Smell,” Erica Goode wrote that “the sense of smell, as Marcel Proust and his Madeleine made clear, is intimately tied to feeling and memory. So it is perhaps not surprising that in schizophrenia, an illness that plays havoc with the emotional capacities of those who suffer from it, the sense of smell is impaired”).
*Excerpt from “Remembrance of Things Past” by Marcel Proust
Ecphory is a process by which retrieval information provided by a cue is correlated with the information stored in an episodic memory trace, thus providing the basis for the subjective experience of remembering and the corresponding memory performance. Particularly relevant to the study of ecphoric processes are experiments in which the material that is to be remembered is held nominally constant and in which both encoding conditions and retrieval conditions are systematically varied. The results of such experiments have imposed certain constraints on theories of retrieval and have led to the revision of several previously popular theoretical ideas. Some illustrative experimental data are described, and one version of a theoretical schema of retrieval is summarized. The schema holds that what a person remembers is a product of a synergistic interaction between the memory trace and the retrieval information, the nature and particular features of the recollective experience being determined by the properties of both the trace and the cue. (Abstract from Tulving et al. 1983. Ecphoric Processes in Episodic Memory Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences 302(1110) · August 1983 DOI: 10.1098/rstb.1983.0060
Forgotten ideas, neglected pioneers: Richard Semon and the story of memory By Daniel L. Schacter (Psychology Press, Philadelphia, 2001)
“… a key notion embodied in the law of ecphory is that of redintegration, the reinstatement of a whole via one of its parts. The classical historical reference, of course is to Sir William Hamilton, who argued for a redintgrative position in 1859. (p260)
“… One of Semon’s most striking and innovative applications of redintegrative ecphory to a problem of memory concerned the question of association by contiguity vs association by similarity.” (p261)
Individually experienced events acquire meaning through the redintegrative mechanism. The wide spread and relatively independent adoption of this mechanism in recent years is surprising. In the author’s mind it was formulated some ten years ago, apparently on the basis of Bradley’s critique of Hamilton, and under the influence of the general dissatisfaction felt with the prevailing account of symbolism, the unconscious, and the conditioned reactions. Meantime the mechanism has been vigorously developed by others under various names, such as ‘law of ecphory’ (Semon), ‘mnemic causation’ (Russell), ‘law of combination’ (Woodworth), and it had already been clearly expounded by Burke and others.” — PARTICULAR FEATURES OF MEANING H. L. HOLLINGWORTH Columbia University http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/rev/31/5/348.pdf \ (needs APA login)