Optogenetics and the mechanism of false memory

Synthese 193 (5):1561-1583 (2016)
Authors
Sarah Robins
University of Kansas
Abstract
Constructivists about memory argue that memory is a capacity for building representations of past events from a generalized information store. The view is motivated by the memory errors discovered in cognitive psychology. Little has been known about the neural mechanisms by which false memories are produced. Recently, using a method I call the Optogenetic False Memory Technique, neuroscientists have created false memories in mice. In this paper, I examine how Constructivism fares in light of O-FaMe results. My aims are two-fold. First, I argue that errors found in O-FaMe and cognitive psychology are similar behaviorally. Second, Constructivists should be able to explain the former since they purport to explain the latter, but they cannot. I conclude that O-FaMe studies reveal details about the mechanism by which false memories are produced that are incompatible with the explanatory approach to false memories favored by Constructivism
Keywords Memory  Constructivism  Optogenetics  Mechanism  Misremembering
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-016-1045-9
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References found in this work BETA

Generative Memory.Kourken Michaelian - 2011 - Philosophical Psychology 24 (3):323-342.
Misremembering.Sarah K. Robins - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (3):432-447.

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