Bergson's 'matter and memory' and modern selectionist theories of memory

Patrick McNamara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Bergson's reflections (in Matter and Memory, 1896) on memory anticipated development of modern selectionist theories of memory. Selectionist models offer new and potentially useful approaches to a theory of remembering. On the model of natural selection, these selectionist theories require at least two processing components: a device which generates a range of memory representations and a selection process which preserves a subset of those representations. Bergson shows how the subjective experience of remembering might be understood within a selectionist framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-231
Number of pages17
JournalBrain and Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1996
Externally publishedYes


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