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首页 The Mind of a Mnemonist.pdf

The Mind of a Mnemonist.pdf

The Mind of a Mnemonist.pdf

上传者: 特才 2012-06-25 评分 4.5 0 96 13 437 暂无简介 简介 举报

简介:本文档为《The Mind of a Mnemonistpdf》,可适用于高等教育领域,主题内容包含ALittleBookaboutaVastMemoryTHEMINDOFAMNEMONISTARLuriaTRANSLATEDFROMTHERUSS符等。

ALittleBookaboutaVastMemoryTHEMINDOFAMNEMONISTARLuriaTRANSLATEDFROMTHERUSSIANbyLynnSolotaroffWithaForewordbyJeromeSBrunerBASICBOOKS,INC,PUBLISHERSNewYorkLondonThetimehascome,thewalrussaid,totalkofmanythingsLEWISCARROLLThroughtheLookingGlassTogetherwithlittleAlicewewillslippastthesmooth,coldsurfaceofthelookingglassandfindourselvesinawonderland,whereeverythingisatoncesofamiliarandrecognizable,yetsostrangeanduncommonFOREWORDJeromeSBrunerThisbookisanextraordinarytributetoAleksandrRomanovichLuriaTherichnessofclinicalinsight,theacuityoftheobservations,andthefullnessoftheoverallpictureofhismnemonistareallextraordinaryLuriatellsusthatheistreatingthe"case"asastudyofasyndrome,atypeofstudyinwhichheisespeciallyskilled,asweknowfromhisfineworkonvariouspatternsofbrainlesionsWhatemergesisaperceptivestudynotonlyofmemoryorganizationbutalsoofthemannerinwhichmemoryisimbeddedinapatternoflifeAsacontributiontotheclinicalliteratureonmemorypathology,thisbookwillsurelyrankasaclassicThoughthetitleofthisbooksuggestsastudyofgreatfeatsofmemory,itisinfactabookaboutthefailureofoneaspectofmemoryandthehypertroviiFOREWORDviiiphyofanotherForthemnemonist,S,whosecaseisstudiedinsuchexquisitedetailinthesepages,isamanwhosememoryisamemoryofparticulars,particularsthatarerichinimagery,thematicelaboation,andaffectButitisamemorythatispeculiarlylackinginoneimportantfeature:thecapacitytoconvertencounterswiththeparticularintoinstancesofthegeneral,enablingonetoformgeneralconceptseventhoughtheparticularsarelostItisthislattertypeof"memorywithoutrecord"thatseemssopoorlydevelopedinthismanSeveralnotablethingsaboutthedisordersofthismnemonistareespeciallyfascinatingfromapsychologicalpointofviewForonething,thesheerpersistenceofikonicmemoryissogreatthatonewonderswhetherthereissomefailureintheswiftmetabolismofshorttermmemoryHis"immediate"imageshaunthimforhours,typesofimagesthatinmuchrecentworkonshorttermmemoryarefoundtofadetoapointwhereinformationretrievalfromthemisnotpossibleafterasecondorsoAlongwiththistraitthereisalsoanonselectivityabouthismemory,suchthatwhatremainsbehindisakindofjunkheapofimpressionsOrperhapsthismnemonicdisarrayresultsfromtheevidentfailuretoorganizeand"regularize"whatisrememberedintothekindsofschematathatBartlettdescribedForewordixinsuchdetailinhisclassicRememberingCuriouslyenough,andtypically,ourmnemonisthasgreatdifficultyorganizingdisparateencountersintermsofinvariantfeaturesthatcharacterizethemThegiftofpersistent,concretememoryappearstomakeforhighlyconcretethinking,akindofthinkinginimagesthatisveryreminiscentofyoungchildrenwhosethoughtprocessesmycolleaguesandIhavebeenstudying(eg,inStudiesinCognitiveGrowth,)S'sgroupingofobjectsandwordsarethematic,associative,boundinaflowofedgerelatedimages,almostwithafeelingofnaivepoetry"Azhukthat'sadentedpieceinthepottyIt'sapieceofryebreadAndintheeveningwhenyouturnonthelight,that'salsoazhuk,fortheentireroomisn'tlitup,justasmallarea,whileeverythingelseremainsdark,azhukWartsarealsoazhukNowIseethemsittingmebeforeamirrorThere'snoise,laughterTherearemyeyesstaringatmefromthemirrordarkthey'realsoazhuk"SothemnemonisttriestodefineachildhoodphraseherecallsatoneofhissessionsButthoughtheaccounthasakindofnaivepoetry,itismisleadingtothinkofthegiftofpoetryaswithinthisman'sreachInfact,hehasgreatdifficultyinunderstandingsomepoemsofPasternakthatwereusedfortestingHecannotgetbehindtheFOREWORDxsurfaceimagesheseemstobecaughtwiththesuperficialmeaningsofwordsandcannotdealwiththeirintendedmetaphorSopowerfulishisimagerythatthismancaneasilydrivehispulseupbyimaginingrunningHeisfloodedanddisturbedbytheimagesandimpressionsofchildhood,and,whenhewasachild,hisimageryofschoolwouldbecomeso"real"thathewouldlieabedratherthangetoutfromunderthequiltandgetreadyItisinterestingthat,givenhismodeofremembering,thereseemstobenochildhoodamnesia,andhismemoriesfromtheearliestperiodcancausehimacutemalaiseandchagrinThroughout,thereisachildlikequalityintheprotocols,protocolsthatarerichbeyondanythingIhaveeverencounteredinthepsychologicalliteratureonmemorydisordersS'slifeinsomedeeplytouchingwayisafailureHewaitedforsomethingtohappentohim,somegreatthingIntheconductofhislife,too,therewasapassivereceptiveattitude,almostprecludingorganizedstrivingInplaceofthemoreabstractandconstructionalattitudeofplanning,therewaswaitingInwritingthisforeword,IcannotforgoonepersonalremarkIamamongthosewhohavebeenfortunateenoughtohaveexaminedpatientswithProfessorLuriaattheBudenkoNeurologicalHosForewordxipitalinMoscowItisanexperiencenevertobeforgotten,forhissubtlecapacityforbringingimportantmaterialtolightbyingeniousquestionsandnovelproceduresistrulyremarkableItwasnolesssointhe's,whenthisstudybeganWhatisevidentinthisearlywork,asinhismostrecentwork,isProfessorLuria'sabilitytocombinetheclinicalwisdomofthefinephysicianwiththetheoreticalacumenofthescientificpsychologistMaythesetalentsbemorewidelyspreadamongusinthefuturePerhapsthisbookwillencourageotherslikeitCambridge,MassOctober,PREFACEIspentthissummeroffinthecountry,awayfromthecityThroughtheopenwindowsIcouldheartheleavesrustlingonthetreesandcatchthefragrantsmellofgrassOnmydesklaysomeold,yellowednotesfromwhichIputtogetherthisbriefaccountofastrangeindividual:aJewishboywho,havingfailedasamusicianandasajournalist,hadbecomeamnemonist,metwithmanyprominentpeople,yetremainedasomewhatanchorlessperson,livingwiththeexpectationthatatanymomentsomethingparticularlyfinewastocomehiswayHetaughtmeandmyfriendsagreatdeal,anditisonlyrightthatthisbookbededicatedtohismemoryARLSummerCONTENTSIntroductionTheBeginningoftheResearchHisMemoryTHEINITIALFACTSSYNESTHESIAWORDSANDIMAGESDIFFICULTIESEIDOTECHNIQUETHEARTOFFORGETTINGHisWorldPEOPLEANDTHINGSWORDSHisMindHISSTRONGPOINTSHISWEAKPOINTSHisControlofBehaviorTHEOBJECTIVEDATAAFEWWORDSABOUTMAGICHisPersonalityTHEMINDOFAMNEMONISTIntroductionThisbriefaccountofaman'svastmemoryhasquiteahistorybehinditForalmostthirtyyearstheauthorhadanopportunitysystematicallytoobserveamanwhoseremarkablememorywasoneofthekeenesttheliteratureonthesubjecthaseverdescribedDuringthistimetheenormousamountofmaterialwhichwasassembledmadeitpossiblenotonlytoexplorethemainpatternsanddevicesoftheman'smemory(whichforallpracticalpurposeswasinexhaustible),buttodelineatethedistinctpersonalityfeaturesthisextraordinarypersonrevealedTHEMINDOFAMNEMONISTUnlikeotherpsychologistswhohavedoneresearchonpeoplewithanexceptionalgiftformemory,theauthordidnotconfinehimselftomeasuringthecapacityandstabilityofthesubject'smemory,ortodescribingthedevicesusedbythelattertorecallandreproducematerialHewasfarmoreinterestedinstudyingcertainotherissues:Whateffectdoesaremarkablecapacityformemoryhaveonothermajoraspectsofpersonality,onanindividual'shabitsofthoughtandimagination,onhisbehaviorandpersonalitydevelopmentWhatchangesoccurinaperson'sinnerworld,inhisrelationshipswithothers,inhisverylifestylewhenoneelementofhispsychicmakeup,hismemory,developstosuchanuncommondegreethatitbeginstoaltereveryotheraspectofhisactivitySuchanapproachtothestudyofpsychicphenomenaishardlytypicalofscientificpsychology,whichdealsforthemostpartwithsensationandperception,attentionandmemory,thinkingandemotion,butonlyrarelyconsidershowtheentirestructureofanindividual'spersonalitymayhingeonthedevelopmentofoneofthesefeaturesofpsychicactivityNonetheless,thisapproachhasbeeninuseforsometimeItistheacceptedmethodinclinicalmedicine,wherethethoughtfulphysicianisneverinterestedmerelyinthecourseofadiseasehehapIntroductionpenstobestudyingatthemoment,buttriestodeterminewhateffectadisturbanceofoneparticularprocesshasonotherorganicprocesseshowchangesinthelatter(whichultimatelyhaveonerootcause)altertheactivityoftheentireorganism,thusgivingrisetothetotalpictureofdisease,towhatmedicinecommonlytermsasyndromeThestudyofsyndromes,however,neednotberestrictedtoclinicalmedicineBythesametoken,onecananalyzehowanunusuallydevelopedfeatureofpsychicmakeupproduceschanges,whicharecausallyrelatedtoit,intheentirestructureofpsychiclife,inthetotalpersonalityInthelatterinstance,too,wewouldbedealingwith"syndromes"havingonecausalfactor,exceptthatthesewouldbepsychologicalratherthanclinicalsyndromesItispreciselywiththeemergenceofsuchasyndrome,oneproducedbyanexceptionalmemory,thatthisbookisconcernedTheauthorhopesthatbyreadingitpsychologistsmaybepromptedtoinvestigateanddescribeotherpsychologicalsyndromes:thedistinctpersonalityfeatureswhichemergewhenthereisheighteneddevelopmentofanindividual'ssensitivityorimagination,hispowerofobservationorcapacityforabstractthought,orthewillpowerheexertsinthepursuitofaparticularideaThiswouldmarkthebeginningofaconcreteTHEMINDOFAMNEMONIST(butnonethelessscientificallyvalid)psychologyThatananalysisofanexceptionalmemory,oftheroleitplayedinshapinganindividual'spsychicmakeup,shouldinitiatethistypeofresearchhascertaindistinctadvantagesMemorystudies,whichhadbeenatastandstillforsomanyyears,haveonceagainbecomeasubjectofvitalresearch,leadingtorapidgrowthinourknowledgeofthisparticularphenomenonThisprogressisboundupwiththedevelopmentofanewbranchoftechnology,bionics,whichhasforcedustotakeacloserlookateverypossibleindicationofhowthehumanmemoryoperates:thedevicesitusesasabasisforthemental"notes"peopletakeontheirimpressionsofthingsthe"readings"themindtakesofmemorytracesthathavebeenretainedAtthesametime,recentworkonmemoryisrelatedtoadvancesinourknowledgemadepossiblethroughcurrenttheoriesofthebrain,itsphysiologicalandbiochemicalstructureNevertheless,inthisbookwewillnotbedrawingeitheroninformationacquiredinthesefieldsoronthevastliteratureavailableonmemoryThisbookisdevotedtothestudyofoneman,andtheauthorwillventurenofurtherthanwhatobservationsonthisremarkable"experimentofnature"themselvesprovidedTheBeginningoftheResearchTheactualbeginningofthisaccountdatesbacktothe's,whenIhadonlyrecentlybeguntodoworkinpsychologyItwasthenthatamancametomylaboratorywhoaskedmetotesthismemoryAtthetimetheman(letusdesignatehimS)wasanewspaperreporterwhohadcometomylaboratoryatthesuggestionofthepaper'seditorEachmorningtheeditorwouldmeetwiththestaffandhandoutassignmentsforthedaylistsofplaceshewantedcovered,informationtobeobtainedineachThelistofaddressesandinstructionswasusuallyfairlylong,andtheeditornotedwithsomesurprisethatSnevertookanynotesTHEMINDOFAMNEMONISTHewasabouttoreproachthereporterforbeinginattentivewhen,athisurging,SrepeatedtheentireassignmentwordforwordCurioustolearnmoreabouthowthemanoperated,theeditorbeganquestioningSabouthismemoryButSmerelycounteredwithamazement:Wastherereallyanythingunusualabouthisrememberingeverythinghe'dbeentoldWasn'tthatthewayotherpeopleoperatedTheideathathepossessedcertainparticularqualitiesofmemorywhichdistinguishedhimfromothersstruckhimasincomprehensibleTheeditorsenthimtothepsychologylaboratorytohavesomestudiesdoneonhismemory,andthusitwasthatIfoundmyselfconfrontedwiththemanAtthetimeSwasjustunderthirtyTheinformationIgotonhisfamilybackgroundwasthathisfatherownedabookstore,thathismother,anelderlyJewishwoman,wasquitewellread,andthatofhisnumerousbrothersandsisters(allofthemconventional,wellbalancedtypes)someweregiftedindividualsTherewasnoincidenceofmentalillnessinthefamilyShadgrownupinasmallJewishcommunityandhadattendedelementaryschoolthereLater,whenitwasdiscoveredthathehadmusicalability,hewasenrolledinamusicschool,wherehestudiedinthehopethathemightsomedaybecomeaprofessionalviolinistHowever,afteraneardiseaseTheBeginningoftheResearchhadlefthishearingsomewhatimpaired,herealizedhecouldhardlyexpecttohaveasuccessfulcareerasamusicianDuringthetimehespentlookingforthesortofworkthatwouldbestsuithimhehappenedtovisitthenewspaper,wherehesubsequentlybeganworkasareporterShadnoclearideawhathewantedoutoflife,andhisplanswerefairlyindefiniteTheimpressionhegavewasofaratherponderousandattimestimidpersonwhowaspuzzledathavingbeensenttothepsychologylaboratoryAsImentioned,hewasn'tawareofanypeculiaritiesinhimselfandcouldn'tconceiveoftheideathathismemorydifferedinsomewayfromotherpeople'sHepassedonhiseditor'srequesttomewithsomedegreeofconfusionandwaitedcuriouslytoseewhat,ifanything,theresearchmightturnupThusbeganarelationshipofalmostthirtyyears,filledwithexperiments,discussions,andcorrespondenceWhenIbeganmystudyofSitwaswithmuchthesamedegreeofcuriositypsychologistsgenerallyhaveattheoutsetofresearch,hardlywiththehopethattheexperimentswouldofferanythingofparticularnoteHowever,theresultsofthefirsttestswereenoughtochangemyattitudeandtoleaveme,theexperimenter,ratherthanmysubject,bothembarrassedandperplexedIgaveSaseriesofwords,thennumbers,thenTHEMINDOFAMNEMONISTletters,readingthemtohimslowlyorpresentingtheminwrittenformHereadorlistenedattentivelyandthenrepeatedthematerialexactlyasithadbeenpresentedIincreasedthenumberofelementsineachseries,givinghimasmanyasthirty,fifty,orevenseventywordsornumbers,butthis,too,presentednoproblemforhimHedidnotneedtocommitanyofthematerialtomemoryifIgavehimaseriesofwordsornumbers,whichIreadslowlyanddistinctly,hewouldlistenattentively,sometimesaskmetostopandenunciateawordmoreclearly,or,ifindoubtwhetherhehadheardawordcorrectly,wouldaskmetorepeatitUsuallyduringanexperimenthewouldclosehiseyesorstareintospace,fixinghisgazeononepointwhentheexperimentwasover,hewouldaskthatwepausewhilehewentoverthematerialinhismindtoseeifhehadretaineditThereupon,withoutanothermoment'spause,hewouldreproducetheseriesthathadbeenreadtohimTheexperimentindicatedthathecouldreproduceaseriesinreverseorderfromtheendtothebeginningjustassimplyasfromstarttofinishthathecouldreadilytellmewhichwordfollowedanotherinaseries,orreproducethewordwhichhappenedtoprecedeoneI'dnameHewouldpauseforaminute,asthoughsearchingfortheTheBeginningoftheResearchword,butimmediatelyafterwouldbeabletoanswermyquestionsandgenerallymadenomistakesItwasofnoconsequencetohimwhethertheseriesIgavehimcontainedmeaningfulwordsornonsensesyllables,numbersorsoundswhethertheywerepresentedorallyorinwritingAllherequiredwasthattherebeathreetofoursecondpausebetweeneachelementintheseries,andhehadnodifficultyreproducingwhateverIgavehimAstheexperimenter,IsoonfoundmyselfinastatevergingonutterconfusionAnincreaseinthelengthofaseriesledtononoticeableincreaseindifficultyforS,andIsimplyhadtoadmitthatthecapacityofhismemoryhadnodistinctlimitsthatIhadbeenunabletoperformwhatonewouldthinkwasthesimplesttaskapsychologistcando:measurethecapacityofanindividual'smemoryIarrangedasecondandthenathirdsessionwithSthesewerefollowedbyaseriesofsessions,someofthemdaysandweeksapart,othersseparatedbyaperiodofseveralyearsButtheselatersessionsonlyfurthercomplicatedmypositionasexperimenter,foritappearedthattherewasnolimiteithertothecapacityofS'smemoryortothedurabilityofthetracesheretainedExperimentsindicatedthathehadnodifficultyreproducinganylengthyseriesofwordswhatever,THEMINDOFAMNEMONISTeventhoughthesehadoriginallybeenpresentedtohimaweek,amonth,ayear,orevenmanyyearsearlierInfact,someoftheseexperimentsdesignedtotesthisretentionwereperformed(withouthisbeinggivenanywarning)fifteenorsixteenyearsafterthesessioninwhichhehadoriginallyrecalledthewordsYetinvariablytheyweresuccessfulDuringthesetestsessionsSwouldsitwithhiseyesclosed,pause,thencomment:"Yes,yesThiswasaseriesyougavemeoncewhenwewereinyourapartmentYouweresittingatthetableandIintherockingchairYouwerewearingagraysuitandyoulookedatmelikethisNow,then,Icanseeyousaying"AndwiththathewouldreelofftheseriespreciselyasIhadgivenittohimattheearliersessionIfonetakesintoaccountthatShadbythenbecomeawellknownmnemonist,whohadtorememberhundredsandthousandsofseries,thefeatseemsevenmoreremarkableAllthismeantthatIhadtoaltermyplanandconcentratelessonanyattempttomeasuretheman'smemorythanonsomewaytoprovideaqualitativeanalysisofit,todescribethepsychologicalaspectsofitsstructureSubsequentlyIundertooktoexploreanotherproblem,asIsaid,todoaclosestudyofthepeculiaritiesthatseemedanTheBeginningoftheResearchinherentpartofthepsychologyofthisexceptionalmnemonistIdevotedthebalanceofmyresearchtothesetwotasks,theresultsofwhichIwilltrytopresentsystematicallyhere,thoughmanyyearshavepassedsincemyworkwithSHisMemoryThisstudyofS'smemorywasbeguninthemid's,whenhewasstillworkingasanewspaperreporterItcontinuedformanyyears,duringwhichSchangedjobsseveraltimes,finallybecomingaprofessionalmnemonistwhogaveperformancesofmemoryfeatsAlthoughtheproceduresSused

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