Case Studies relating to the Multi Store Model of Memory.

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Case Studies

The multi store model is the process of long term and short term memory. It explains what each type of memory is. Short term memory is memories which are less important, while Long term memory is memories which are very important.

In a case study, nearly every aspect of the person’s life and history is analyzed to search for patterns and causes for behaviour. The hope is that learning gained from studying one case can be generalized to many others. On the other hand, laboratory experiments are carried out in a laboratory where variables are controlled. Therefore it does not apply to the real world, which means that it has a low ecological validity.

The case studies relating to the multi-store model are Clive Wearing and HM case studies. Clive Wearing contracted a virus in 1985; the virus attacked an area of the brain crucial for memory, which left him, leaving with amnesia. He has no memory of any event or memory in his life.

Clive Wearing can remember: -

  • his wife not his children or any other family members
  • how to play the piano – but he is unaware of it
  • key numbers and names from early childhood
  • speech and has a good vocabulary
  • and read and write – doesn’t remember doing either

The case study of HM who suffered from epilepsy of such severity that it couldn’t be controlled by drugs. HM underwent a drastic surgery, surgeons removed the hippocampus (small structure found in both hemispheres of the forebrain) from both sides of his brain. HM’s personality and intellect remained intact but his memory was affected. He had no memory for events following the operation. His memory for events prior to the operation was reasonable, however, not as good as before. He could still talk and recall all the skills he previously knew but his memory didn’t incorporate new experiences.

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In conclusion, the case study of Clive Wearing provides evidence for the multi store model, because it shows that Clive Wearing can remember long term but cannot remember short term. This means that he has lost his short term memory leaving him with only long term memory from his childhood. The case study of HM is also similar; HM’s long term memory was intact but he had no ability to update it, this means that he couldn’t use his short term memory. Without short term memory HM couldn’t transfer data to long term memory but he could still use his ...

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