Immanuel Zion Argument Paper #212/14/17Professor: Thomas Cain Memory, is complex system of recognition , allowing us to process and recall information in the world around us. As adults, we often take memory for granted, assuming it is a system that exists for us constantly. When we think back to our infancy , we tend not to remember our thoughts, concerns, or past experiences. We assume a state of amnesia, until one day, we are suddenly aware of our surroundings, feelings and thoughts. For many years the processes of gaining awareness of our memory was assumed to follow this pattern, Amnesia followed by sudden awareness. However, recent research into the processes of infant memory, seems to question this original belief. In the paper, The Development of Infant memory psychologist Carolyn Rovee Collier, investigated the processes of infant memory as it compares to adults, and questioned the validity of the previously assumed idea of ‘infantile Amnesia’. ( Rovee-Collier, 1999)The central argument of Colliers paper is that Infants actually share the same core memory structures as adults. Contrary to Freudian and Piagetian theories which postulated that infant memory, did not develop until after 1 year of life, Colliers research revealed that infants as young as 2 months showed limited but present forms of recognition based memories ( Rovee-Collier, 1999). Colliers, designed an experiment testing recognition abilities of infants in two non verbal memory task; the “mobile ”, and “the ribbon task”. ( Rovee-Collier, 1999)In the first task, a infant recognized of the ribbon, and would kick at the ribbon. Collier assumed that more the infant kicked at either the Ribbon or Mobile the faster the infant recognized the stimulus and indeed ‘remembered it’. The overall results of Collier study Indicate that infants do indeed possess some form of memory processing. Overall Colliers paper, did a thorough job creating an age appropriate methodology for testing the memory of Infants. That being said Colliers analysis, and explanations about the processes of infant memory along with what constitutes ‘memory structures’ could have benefited, from more depth explanations and definitions of what memory is, in the context of our understanding of the human brain. The following paper, serves to critique Colliers paper arguing that Colliers paper could have benefited from further analysis in two main areas : Firstly, the paper could have benefited from a summary of what defines ‘ memory structures’, defining them clearly to the reader before describing how these structures manifest in infants. Colliers paper seems to assume that the reader is already familiar with memory as psychological phenomena, and didn’t really provide overview of how memory works in general. Secondly Colliers the paper could have provided more in depth look into different forms of infant memory besides long recognition based memories, such as working memory, which to this day has not been studied in depth in infants. Addressing this need for further clarity in defining memory , it might have been useful to provide an overview of the different forms of memory presented in Colliers text; This need for further clarity comes across when Collier discusses the role of declarative, and nondeclarative memories. In the section of Colliers paper entitled Development of multiple memory systems, Collier presents the idea that memory processing is “ Mediated by two memory systems, declarative and nondeclarative. (Rovee-Collier, 1999) In terms of infant memory processing, Collier illustrates the systems of non declarative and declarative memory, are present during infanthood, despite the original assumption that these systems come after the first year of life. Despite the important discovery Collier makes illustrating that memory systems are present during early infancy, this section of the paper, could have used more in depth information on the definitions and differences between declarative and nondeclarative memory, as memory systems in themselves. By definition, Declarative and Nondeclarative memory systems can be defined a set of long term memory systems. Declarative memory references explicit or conscious memories while nondeclarative memory refers to implicit or ‘nonconscious’ accessible memory.If this paper where to be revisited it might be helpful to incorporate these general definitions, allowing for further clarity on the behalf of the reader. In addition to providing more depth on this particular distinction between declarative and nondeclarative memory, Colliers paper could have benefited from a descriptions of different forms of memory structures besides just declarative and non declarative memory. As stated earlier, and in Colliers paper, non declarative and declarative memories fall into the category of ‘long term memory structures’. ( Rovee-Collier, 1999).The majority of Colliers paper, addresses infant long term memory processing, but not forms of short term memory processes of memory such as working memory. Working memory is a form of memory processing, involving the short term storage of information, and then the ‘manipulation’ of the briefly stored information. In other words working memory is a memory processing system, with a very limited capacity, responsible for temporarily holding and manipulating that information. (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974) Based on the work of Alan Baddeley and Graham Hitch their are considered to be two forms of working memory processing one being verbal and the other being non verbal. It is believed that verbal working memory is processed via a, “phonological loop” ( the phenomena of actually hearing a series of word or numbers in ones head), and nonverbal working memory is processed via a “visual spatial” sketchpad. (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974) Now given that infants are early in their development, and Working memory is a complex system, it makes sense that Colliers study addressed a more simplified approach on establishing a baseline infant recognition involving long term memory retrieval. However, that being said, the question of how working memory manifests in early infancy ( if it does at all) would have been an intriguing component for potential study. As Colliers illustrates in her paper, much of the issues involving the testing of infant memory processing systems in infants has been “ methodological”. (Rovee-Collier, 1999 ) Given that infants (especially those less than 1 year old) , cannot speak it is difficult to administer a procedure that adequately reflects infant memory processing. In terms of working memory, it would be difficult to administer a test that got around this language barrier, and testing for the presence of a ‘phonological’ loop would be very difficult . That being said, their might be methods, that involve non verbal participation in a working memory task. As seen by the results of Colliers study Infants do have the ability to encode long term ‘ term nonverbal memories’ and interpret nonverbal cues. Based on this this ability to recognize information when presented ‘nonverbally’ it would not be an unrealistic assumption that some forms of nonverbal working memory are also in place and can be tested, perhaps in some early form of a ‘visual spatial sketchpad. If this study where to revisited, pehraphs and additional study could investigate visual spatial working memory, using the same ‘stimulus items ( mobile and ribbon), but this time, design the task so that the infant had locate the item after it was hidden, tapping into working memory processes rather than purley ‘recognition based’ memory. In sum, Colliers paper, succeeded, in providing a innovative notion that infants, may have early forms of memory structures previously thought to develop later in childhood and Adulthood. However, Colliers pape could have benefited from additional background information about memory structures. Colliers paper seemed to assume that the reader had a prerequisite understanding about the basics of memory processing, specifically the processes and distinctions between “declarative” and “nondeclarative memories” . If the paper where to revisited, it might be helpful to include some sort of an introduction to the various forms memory specifically addressing the differences between “declarative and nondeclarative memories”, as well as defining terms such as “encoding”, and “recognition” in clearer terms. Addressing the second argument, Colliers paper seemed to focus just on one form of infant memory, which was long term declarative and nondeclarative memories. If this paper where to be revisited it might be helpful, explore additional types of memory processing, potentially examining infant working memory, a process, still not fully understood to this day
Hello, My name is Avivia, which means Spring in Hebrew. My mother, Chaya, and my father, Mendel, said they picked Avivia because they had hoped I would turn out just as bright and sunny as Spring. My little brother’s name is Asher, which means happy one. My parents also told him why they chose his name. They told him they always want their children to be happy. Well enough chitter-chatter let’s get onto my survival story!
It all started when I was 13 and Asher was 7. My brother, Mummy, and I were sitting at home listening to the radio waiting for daddy to come home. Little did we know, Daddy wasn’t coming home tonight. We called Daddy’s work on the party line (a phone that rings in the whole neighborhood and if you kept it on you could hear other people’s conversations). The line said that Daddy was picked up by the S.S and taken to Auschwitz (a concentration camp)!
I was so frightened and upset. I didn’t know what I was going to do without Daddy. I went into my room and sobbed for hours and hours until I heard Mummy call me.
“Pack your clothes we need to leave.”
“Why are we leaving, Mummy.”
“Because they got your father, they might be coming for us next!”
“I don’t want to leave, Mummy!”
“We are leaving for our own safety.”
We chose to go to Amsterdam because we had German friends, Leon, Mila, and their two-year old Clara that were willing to hide us. We called our friends, Fynn and Emilia, who were Germans, to smuggle us out of Poland to Amsterdam. We put our bags in the back of their motor vehicle and started driving. It was a 22 hour and 55 minute drive.
We finally reached Amsterdam. Our friends were waiting on their deck for us to arrive. We quickly brought our bags inside their house. As soon as we came Mila greeted us with hugs. We haven’t seen her since before Asher was born. Leon said,”We need to get inside so no one would gain suspicion about us.” Mila made us a terrific chicken soup for dinner. Leon said we should get to bed at about 11 p.m. so we could get some sleep.
We stayed at their house for two years. One day we woke up and we heard the Germans had taken over Amsterdam. Before we could leave the house Nazis came and took us to Auschwitz. We were taken to Auschwitz in a cattle car. There was barely any room to even stand. When we slept, lice would crawl through the cracks in the floor onto our bodies. We were in this miserable condition for five days. I was so frightened I could barely sleep!
When we arrived, there were guards everywhere holding guns and there was barbed wire fencing around the whole camp. You could hear constant alarms, screaming, and you felt terrified.
We were either sent to the left or right. If you were sent to the left you were sent to gas chambers and were immediately killed. If you were sent to the right you were sent to do treacherous work. I was sent to the right, but Asher and my mother were sent left. They said my brother was too young and my mother was too old. Everyone was too scared to shower because we were afraid that gas would come out of the shower. Everyone was relieved when it was water that came out of the faucet instead of gas.
Two days after I arrived, they came and rolled up the sleeve of my star marked uniform and tattooed a number on my arm. The number was so they could keep track of the Jews in the camp. I worked in the garden section. If I was lucky I could smuggle some food out. They didn’t let us sleep much, but when they did I could barely sleep. All I could think about was my family. I was the only one left. Day after day, I would sob for as long as I could before I was sent to do a task.
I was fed one meal a day and it was a bland cabbage soup. I would be working and I would see someone trying to escape drop down to the ground. If you tried to leave you were shot. Sometimes dogs would be sent after you if you tried to leave. Everyday I could see young children being thrown into trucks to be killed and mothers chasing after the trucks. Unfortunately the woman would be shot and killed.
I wouldn’t talk to anyone and no one would talk to me because you didn’t know who to trust. The only time people would talk to each other was if they were family. When I saw this I felt so depressed because I had no family left.
Two years I was in Auschwitz, then one day the allies conquered the Nazis that were there and liberated everyone. I was overjoyed that I could leave! I was almost certain that I was going to die in that terrifying camp.
When I was liberated I had nowhere to go so I went back to Mila and Leon’s house and stayed there until the Holocaust was over. When the Holocaust ended I was so excited. I didn’t have to hide anymore. The Holocaust was a time of great terror and death. Not many survived but the people that did are some extremely lucky people.