On the evolution of a functional approach to memory

Published Date: 
June 29, 2021

In an analysis of memory systems, Sherry and Schacter (Psychological Review, 94, 439-454, 1987) emphasized the importance of functional and evolutionary considerations for characterizing mechanisms of memory. The present article considers four different yet closely related topics from more recent research in which similar considerations have played a prominent role in shaping both experiment and theory: the seven sins of memory, mechanisms underlying memory misattribution errors, the role of memory in imagining future experiences, and the relation between associative inference and memory errors. These lines of research illustrate the usefulness of attempting to integrate functional and mechanistic considerations, in line with the general approach articulated by Sherry and Schacter.

Daniel L Schacter