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Rev Neurol (Paris). 1996 Oct;152(10):602-10.

[Edouard Claparède and human memory].

[Article in French]

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INSERM U320, Services de Neurologie, CHU de Caen, France.


The Genevan neurologist and psychologist Edouard Claparède is not well enough known to present-day neuropsychologists However, at the beginning of the century he developed certain modern concepts by introducing the notions of "implicit" and "explicit" into the study of memory. Edouard Claparède applied the saving method in relearning, initiated by Ebbinghaus, in the assessment of abilities retained by patients suffering from Korsakoff's syndrome. He described the two implicit-memory phenomena which are today called "priming effects" and "skill learning". Edouard Claparède also showed the influence of the implicit and explicit memories in recognition. His approach places him in the tradition of the multisystem theories of the memory: he made a distinction between habits and memories and then integrated the idea of familiar knowledge in this architecture of the memory, which is very close to that of Tulving (1985). Moreover, the importance that he gaves to perceptive data in recognition and the self in voluntary recall bring to mind the more recent distinction between data-driven and concept-driven processes in functional theories of memory. This integration of the two approaches, the structural and functional, must place Edouard Claparède among the most important precursors of the theories of human memory.

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