I have a MacBook pro 13-inch, mid 2010. I recently installed 8GB of RAM. I understand that the NVIDIA that is installed (NVIDIA GeForce 320M 256 MB) uses shared graphics memory. Does this means that the memory that is shared with the graphics card increases the total amount of VRAM? Could I run a program with a VRAM requirement of 512MB or maybe even 1GB?
The NVIDIA GeForce 320M 256 MB doesn't contain any dedicated VRAM. Instead a maximum of 256 MB of your 8 GB RAM are used as VRAM (shared memory).
I doubt that you can run apps which require 512 MB or more VRAM. You may try to lower the VRAM requirements of the application though - depending on whether this possible at all. Anyway, it will run incredibly slow then.