Assignment Writing Help on Current Theoretical Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience

Current Theoretical Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience


Memory comprises various specialized components of cognition allowing human beings to understand their immediate environments. Through these components, human beings are able to acknowledge, understand, present, and retain information mentally. These procedures are based on past experiences in order to support the skills human beings possess and utilize in acquiring new knowledge. More so, they are utilized to enable people, especially adults to address challenges and solve problems. This involves formulating, relating, and implementing solutions based on the identified goals. The two vital components of memory are supervisory and specialized temporary memory systems. They are phonologically based and looped in a visuospatial storage or sketchpad. They maintain memory traces overlapping perceptions and preparing to undertake actions generated from perceived images. Central executive system controls and regulates working memory system. It focuses, coordinates, and switches attention-activating representations on long-term memory. Children, adults, and persons suffering from brain damages therefore utilize and record varying memory activities (Alan & Robert, 1999).

Theoretical Framework on Working Memory

Unitary versus Non-Unitary Working Memory Model

According to Alan and Robert, multiple specialized subcomponents of cognition determine the working mechanisms of memory. Empirical investigations conducted by the authors revealed that phonological loop is subdivided into active, passive, and phonological storage rehearsal systems. Visuospatial sketchpad on the other hand is fractioned into active and passive visual caches that are spatially based on rehearsal of the memory system known as inner scribe. Encoding and retrieving information as well as switching attention and mental manipulation is located in slave systems. Thus, non-unitary nature of a working memory comprises specialized components adequately and justifiably fractioned into specialized components found among healthy human beings. This enables healthy human beings to record stable cognitive activities and domains differing from children and incapacitated persons. The domains include complex cognition activities, such as understanding a particular language, reasoning, and presenting correct mental arithmetic calculations. Thus, patients and children cannot undertake these functions. More so, they possess either a deficient or incapacitated multiple component model hindering them to undertake dual tasks like healthy human beings (Alan & Robert, 1999).

Short Term versus Long Term Memory Storage Models

According to Gordon and Stephan, the theoretical distinction between short term and long-term memory storage differ on retrieval and either remembrance or forgetfulness of timescales and information. They also differ on temporal decay and pro-active and retro-active inferences. As a result, the authors assert there is no evidence affirming time based decay is the sole and primary cause of forgetfulness. The act of forgetting information that has previously involved short or long-term memory storage can also be based on consolidation. Consolidation refers to the concept of affirming information and memories in order to strengthen them after they are formed. The formed memories are flexible to being forgotten in either short or long-term basis. Neurosciences and cognitive approaches rely on exclusively either alternated interference or decay notions to undertake the role of consolidation. Encoding failure and lack of temporal distinctiveness can also lead to remarkable and implicit consolidation (Gordon & Stephan, 2006).

This further affirms that unitary time invariant model assessing forgetful memories provides empirical support to assert that short-term memory storage is caused by temporal decay rather than time-based decay. As a result, decay theorists claim they can encourage human beings to appeal and rehearse memories. This is because appealed and rehearsed memories can reverse the adverse effects of decay and pro-active and retro-active inferences on memories. The theorists also claim that human beings can avoid either short or long-term loss of memories by undertaking the following actions. First, they should consistently and continuously rehearse memories through controlled interpretive conditions. Secondly, they should retain intervals of rehearsal in order to avoid interferences. These two actions are however conflicting as rehearsal requires cognitive activities, which create interferences (David, Joshua, Thomas & Kevin, 2012).

In order to overcome this limitation, human beings can engage in the following actions to decrease decay of memories. First, they can engage in verbal rehearsal of words with direct impacts and functions in spanning the memory. They can also write limited responses to words spoken in order to equate amount of outputs interference. It is however crucial to ensure the rehearsals are undertaken on real, actual, and longer times to decrease and avoid forgetfulness (Thierry, 2003).

False Memories

Melanie and Silvia claim that human beings are capable of acquiring false memories based on past experiences, events, and perceptions. False memories refer to subjective familiarities persons either believe or perceive to remember to have occurred in reality. The experiences are however recovered memories from activities that did not actually occur in reality. Both adults and children can acquire false memories as they can either forget or repress significant experiences based on evidence gathered. Human beings and children gather evidence based on recovered memories. For example, a child who has undergone abuse can grow up into an adult who either represses or relives the experiences. They can also restructure and reconstruct their memories to suit their current feelings and beliefs (Melanie & Silvia, 2007).

Abused children can therefore grow up believing and trusting they were not ill-treated. These scenarios affirm that memory illusions can lead to falsified perceptions and occurrences. This can lead to memory discrepancies, which can result in mental instabilities and healthcare changes, such as anxiety attacks, depression, and being argumentative. The false memories can therefore be more prevalent among children than adults. This is because children witnessing an experience expect to be interviewed in order to narrate the truth on the particular occurrence. As a result, they tend to be pressured by the expectation to apply any type of event, idea, and perception to prove that their narration is either consistent or/and truthful. Eventually, they believe and trust the events they are narrating to be actual and real (Allen, 1995).

False memories among adults are therefore created from childhood experiences. This is because adults cannot falsify memories knowingly unless they are lying or trying to hide evidence. Adults are able to control their memories through self-esteem and confidence, enhancing their vivid perceptions or imaginations and actual experiences. Consequently, they can either increase or decrease decay and pro-active and retro-active inferences, leading to forgetfulness (Melanie & Silvia, 2007).

Limitations of Memory among Human Beings

Maria-Barbara applied cognitive psychology to discuss characteristics of a working memory among human beings. She asserts that human beings have a memory functioning within controlled and quantifiable conditions and observations. Conscious awareness creates primary memory while permanently stored information generates secondary memory. Visual short-term memory is therefore a model within the unitary system. The controlled system constructs and distinguishes information within the central executive (Maria-Barbara, 2003). Consequently, decay and pro-active and retro-active inferences among adults and children decreases. This further enhances their ability to comprehend, consolidate, retain, and remember events. More so, they are able to differentiate between real and perceived events and experiences (Emily, 2011).

Working Memory Model

A working memory relies and focuses on the Prefrontal Cortex to control and coordinate cognitive and behavioral regulations. Todd and Jonathan (2000) define Prefrontal Cortex as Supervisory Attention System (SAS) undertaking various controlling functions within the central executive. It actively represents and maintains information and contents playing the crucial role of controlling behaviors and cognitive abilities. Flexible behaviors and task-relevant information compete in acquiring, consolidating, controlling, and storing information (Todd & Jonathan, 2000).

The memory however has a computational function under neural substrates representing and maintaining information controlling modules of sharing and mediating the contents. These internal content representations avoid biases based on tasks performed to plan overt behaviors. The specific stimulus processing sequences and intended actions during various events produce dominant responses. Through an active state, the dominant responses control and store memories. Thus, neural, psychological, mental, cognitive, and physical memory abilities among human beings should be functioning effectively and efficiently (Maryann, 1999).


Memories are created and stored through unique stages differing among adults and children. They also differ among healthy and mentally unstable persons. They can however be falsified among adults, children, and unhealthy persons. It is important to correlate a memory with a true and actual experience. Since memories are feelings of beliefs based on actual and peculiar objects or experiences, they should be recollected and stored. They should neither be imagined nor falsified. Memory modeling should involve consolidation, reassessment of experiences, and evaluation of empirical evidence they actually occurred. As a result, the dominant cognitive theory postulating strict components for maintaining information ought to be utilized in consolidating, controlling, and coordinating memories. This is due to presence of prefrontal Cortex, a neural substance of a working memory. Prefrontal Cortex therefore consolidates, controls, and stores observations, experiences, ideas, and perceptions in a context processor. This determines behaviors and memory working mechanisms among adults and children who are either healthy or incapacitated.


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Allen, H. (1995). The Abduction Experience: A Critical Evaluation of Theory and Evidence, Journal of UFO Studies, 96(1): 29-78.

David, B., Joshua, A., Thomas, G., & Kevin, S. (2012). Empirical Evidence for Markov Chain Monte Carlo in Memory Search, University of California.

Emily, R. L. (2011). Critical Thinking: A Literature Review, Pearson Research Report.

Gordon, B., & Stephan, L. (2006). Forgetting in Memory Models: Arguments against Trace Decay and Consolidation Failure, University of Western Australia.

Maria-Barbara, W. (2003). General Introduction: Limitations of Human Visual Working Memory, Sigill University.

Maryann, F. (1999). Evaluating Information: An Information Literacy Challenge, Research Journal of the American Association of School Librarians, 1(2): 1-35.

Melanie, S., & Silvia, M. (2007). False Memories: Phenomena, Theories, and Implications, Institute for Psychology, Friedrich Schiller.

Thierry, O. (2003). Working Memory in Writing: Empirical Evidence from the Dual Task Technique, Original Manuscript from European Psychologist.

Todd, B., & Jonathan, C. (2000). Working Memory, Cognitive Control, and the Prefrontal Cortex: Computational and Empirical Studies, Department of Psychology and Psychiatry.