Mtro. Tahi Guzmán de León

Episodic-like Memory and the Minimal Self


Tahi Guzmán is a PhD student at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. His doctoral research focuses on the Episodic Memory system in non-human animals. His research encompasses other models of memory as well, such as the Visual Memory System, the Working Memory System and the Semantic Memory System. He is currently working on the characterization of the representational content of the episodic memories in apes, rats and corvids.


There have been criticisms to the idea that non-human animals episodically recall what, where and when something happened. It has been said that they, during the “www” experiments, succeeded because they knew what, where and when something occurred. Therefore, the discussion has been among those who claim that “www” experiments only show that non-human animals are retrieving information from the Semantic Memory System. And those who state that during the “www” experiments non-human animals are retrieving an integrated representation from the Episodic Memory System. Here I propose a wider interpretation of the existing data in such a way that brings back Tulving’s first characterization of the episodic memories, and at the same time aims to favor the episodic interpretation of the “www” experiments. What I offer is an argument called “The protagonist argument” which claims that during the “www” tests there is another representation at stake that should be considered: “the minimal self”. Furthermore, I submit that this representation, because of the nature of its content, can only be stored and retrieved by the Episodic Memory system.