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What Is Adaptive about Adaptive Memory?$
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Bennett L. Schwartz, Mark L. Howe, Michael P. Toglia, and Henry Otgaar

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199928057

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199928057.001.0001

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On the Domain-Specificity of Survival Processing Advantages in Memory

On the Domain-Specificity of Survival Processing Advantages in Memory

(p.110) 6 On the Domain-Specificity of Survival Processing Advantages in Memory
What Is Adaptive about Adaptive Memory?

Nicholas C. Soderstrom

Anne M. Cleary

Oxford University Press

Exploring why our memory systems evolved into their current states is arguably just as important as understanding how these memory systems function. The recently introduced survival processing paradigm (Nairne et al., 2007) provides an empirical method for studying memory functionality, and its use has consistently demonstrated that processing information in terms of its survival utility enhances memory performance, a finding consistent with evolutionary theory. We assert that the data suggest that survival processing advantages in memory are domain-general insofar as they are not optimally suited for any one environment or situation in particular, but rather operate effectively in a wide range of scenarios. Such an adaptation might aid in our ability to extract important, survival-relevant information from novel situations.

Keywords:   Survival processing, adaptive memory, memory function, modularity, domain-specificity

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