Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
  • Print publication year: 2017
  • Online publication date: May 2018

3 - Brain Regions Associated with Long-Term Memory

Summary

Learning Objectives

  • • To identify three brain regions most commonly associated with episodic memory.
  • • To compare the brain regions associated with episodic memory and semantic memory.
  • • To contrast the two models of long-term memory consolidation.
  • • To explain what happens during slow wave sleep that promotes long-term memory consolidation.
  • • To compare the brain regions associated with memory retrieval and memory encoding.
  • • To describe how behavioral performance and hippocampal activity differ between females and males during long-term memory.
  • • To explain one way in which the brains of those with superior memory differ from those with normal memory.
  • This chapter considers the brain regions associated with long-term memory, a type of explicit memory (see Chapter 1). Long-term memory can be broken down into episodic memory and semantic memory. Episodic memory refers to the detailed retrieval of a previous episode, such as when someone remembers a happy moment of his or her life. Semantic memory refers to the retrieval of factual information, such as the definition of a word or the name of the current president. Semantic memories are formed through repeated exposure to information throughout life and lack the details associated with episodic memories. This information is simply known and there is no memory for the previous details of the learning experience. Although episodic memory and semantic memory both refer to conscious forms of retrieval, the degree of detail and subjective experience associated with these types of memory is quite different. It follows that the brain regions associated with episodic memory and semantic memory are also distinct. The first two sections of the chapter (sections 3.1 and 3.2) consider the brain regions associated with episodic memory and semantic memory. Section 3.3 will consider long-term memory consolidation (i.e., the process of creating more permanent memory representations in the brain). In section 3.4, the role of sleep in long-term memory consolidation is examined. Long-term memory consolidation requires the interaction between multiple brain regions in which activity oscillates at specific frequencies. In section 3.5, the brain regions associated with memory encoding will be reviewed.

    Rugg, M. D. & Vilberg, K. L. (2013). Brain networks underlying episodic memory retrieval. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 23, 255–260.
    Simmons, W. K., Reddish, M., Bellgowan, P. S. & Martin, A. (2010). The selectivity and functional connectivity of the anterior temporal lobes. Cerebral Cortex, 20, 813–825.
    Bartsch, T., Döhring, J., Rohr, A., Jansen, O. & Deuschl, G. (2011). CA1 neurons in the human hippocampus are critical for autobiographical memory, mental time travel, and autonoetic consciousness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108, 17562–17567.
    Born, J. & Wilhelm, I. (2012). System consolidation of memory during sleep. Psychological Research, 76, 192–203.
    Maguire, E. A., Gadian, D. G., Johnsrude, I. S., Good, C. D., Ashburner, J., Frackowiak, R. S. & Frith, C. D. (2000). Navigation-related structural change in the hippocampi of taxi drivers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 97, 4398–4403.