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Encyclopedia > Episodic memory

Episodic memory, or autobiographical memory, a sub-category of declarative memory, is the recollection of events. It includes time, place, and associated emotions (which affect the quality of the memorization). Episodic memory contrasts and interacts with semantic memory, the memory of facts and concepts. Episodic memories can be likened to written stories. Declarative memory is the aspect of memory that stores facts and events. ... Watches are used to measure time Time has long been a major subject of philosophy, art, poetry, and science. ... Place is a term that has a variety of meanings in a dictionary sense, but which is principally used as a noun to denote location, though in a sense of a location identified with that which is located there. ... Emotion, in its most general definition, is a neural impulse that moves an organism to action, prompting automatic reactive behavior that has been adapted through evolution as a survival mechanism to meet a survival need. ... Semantic memory refers to the memory of meanings, understandings, and other factual knowledge; in contrast to episodic memory. ... Look up Fact in Wiktionary, the free dictionary For other uses, see Fact (disambiguation). ... A concept is an abstract, idea, notion, or entity that serves to designate a category or class of entities, events, phenomena or relations between them. ...

Contents


The cognitive neuroscience of episodic memory

The formation of new episodic memories requires the hippocampus. Without a hippocampus, one is able to form new procedural memories (such as playing the piano) but cannot remember the events during which they happened. See The hippocampus and memory. The location of the hippocampus in the human brain. ... Procedural memory, also known as implicit memory, is the long-term memory of skills and procedures, or how to knowledge. ... The location of the hippocampus in the human brain. ...


The prefrontal cortex (and in particular the left hemisphere) is also involved in the formation of new episodic memories (also known as episodic encoding). Patients with damage to the prefrontal cortex can learn new information, but tend to do so in a disordered fashion. For example, they might show normal recognition of an object they had seen in the past, but fail to recollect when or where it had been viewed (Janowsky et al., 1989). Some researchers believe that the prefrontal cortex helps organize information for more efficient storage, drawing upon its role in executive function. Others believe that the prefrontal cortex underlies semantic strategies which enhance encoding, such as thinking about the meaning the study material or rehearsing it in working memory (Gabrieli et al., 1998). // Location and Function The prefrontal cortex is the anterior part of the frontal lobes of the brain, lying in front of the motor and associative areas. ... Human brain viewed from above, showing cerebral hemispheres. ... As Thought Process During the process of thinking, recognition occurs when some event, process, pattern, or object recurs. ... Recollection is the retrieval of memory. ... The executive system is a theorised cognitive system in psychology that controls and manages other cognitive processes. ... In general, semantics (from the Greek semantikos, or significant meaning, derived from sema, sign) is the study of meaning, in some sense of that term. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... In cognitive psychology, working memory is the collection of structures and processes used for temporarily storing and manipulating information. ...


The hippocampus's role in memory storage

Researchers do not agree about how long episodic memories are stored in the hippocampus. Some researchers believe that episodic memories always rely on the hippocampus. Others believe the hippocampus only stores episodic memories for a short time, after which the memories are consolidated to the neocortex. The latter view is strengthened by recent evidence that neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus may ease the removal of old memories and increase the efficiency of forming new memories (Deisseroth et al 2004). The location of the hippocampus in the human brain. ... The location of the hippocampus in the human brain. ... The location of the hippocampus in the human brain. ... The broad definition of memory consolidation is the process by which recent memories are crystallised into long-term memory. ... In the anatomy of animals, the neopallium or neocortex is a part of the telencephalon in the brain. ... Neurogenesis literally means birth of neurons. Neurogenesis is most prevalent during pre-natal development and is the process by which neurons are created to populate the growing brain. ... The location of the hippocampus in the human brain. ...


The relationship of episodic memory to semantic memory

Episodic memory is thought of as being a "one-shot" learning mechanism. You only need one exposure to an episode to remember it. Semantic memory, on the other hand, can take into consideration multiple exposures to each referent - the semantic representation is updated on each exposure. Semantic memory refers to the memory of meanings, understandings, and other factual knowledge; in contrast to episodic memory. ...


Episodic memory can be thought of as a "map" that ties together items in semantic memory. For example, semantic memory will tell you what your dog looks and sounds like. All episodic memories concerning your dog will reference this single semantic representation of "dog" and, likewise, all new experiences with your dog will modify your single semantic representation of your dog.


Some researchers believe that episodic memories are refined into semantic memories over time. In this process, most of the episodic information about a particular event is generalized and the context of the specific events is lost. One modification of this view is that episodic memories which are recalled often are remembered as a kind of monologue. If you tell and re-tell a story repeatedly, you may feel that you no longer remember the event, but that what you're recalling is a kind of pre-written story. Semantic memory refers to the memory of meanings, understandings, and other factual knowledge; in contrast to episodic memory. ...


Others believe that you always remember episodic memories as episodic memories. Of course, episodic memories do inform semantic knowledge and episodic memories are reliant upon semantic knowledge. The point is that some people do not believe that all episodic memories will inevitably distill away into semantic memory. Semantic memory refers to the memory of meanings, understandings, and other factual knowledge; in contrast to episodic memory. ... Semantic memory refers to the memory of meanings, understandings, and other factual knowledge; in contrast to episodic memory. ...


Sex differences in episodic memory performance

According to Brain activation during episodic memory retrieval: sex differences, women tend to outperform men on episodic memory tasks.


Age differences in episodic memory performance

Activation of specific brain areas (mostly the hippocampus) seems to be different between young and older people upon episodic memory retrieval, as shown by Maguire and Frith 2003. Older people tend to activate both left and right hippocampus, while young people activate only the left one. The location of the hippocampus in the human brain. ... The location of the hippocampus in the human brain. ...


Episodic memory damage

  • The label "Amnesia" is most often given to patients with deficits in episodic memory.
  • Alzheimer's Disease tends to damage the hippocampus before other brain areas. This means that AD patients are often classed as amnesiacs.
  • A rare type of shell-fish poisoning called "Amnesiac Shellfish Poisoning" or ASP quite effectively and irreversibly damages the hippocampus, rendering one amnesiac.
  • Korsakoff's syndrome is brought on by many years' worth of excessive drinking. The syndrome is not the result of the alcohol, per se; rather, it is caused by the malnutrition that occurs when someone gets a large amount of his calories from alcohol.

Amnesia (or amnaesia in Commonwealth English) is a condition in which memory is disturbed. ... The location of the hippocampus in the human brain. ... Comparative brain sizes In animals, the brain, or encephalon (Greek for in the head), is the control center of the central nervous system. ... Shellfish is a term used to describe shelled molluscs and crustaceans used as food. ... Korsakoffs syndrome (aka Korsakoffs psychosis, amnesic-confabulatory syndrome), is a continuum of Wernickes encephalopathy, though a recognised episode of Wernickes is not always obvious. ... Malnutrition is a general term for the medical condition in a person caused by an unbalanced diet—either too little or too much food, or a diet missing one or more important nutrients. ...

Episodic memory in animals

In 1997, there was little evidence for episodic memory outside of humans. This is probably due to the difficulty in testing for it in animals. To meet the criteria of episodic memory, as espoused by Tulving (1983), evidence of conscious recollection must be provided. But demonstrating episodic memory in the absence of language, and therefore in non-human animals, is impossible because there are no agreed non-linguistic behavioural indicators of conscious experience (Griffiths et al., 1999).


Clayton & Dickinson (1998) were the first to provide evidence that animals may posess episodic memory. They demonstrated that western scrub-jays (Aphelocoma californica) remember where they cached different food types and discriminately recovered them, depending on the perishability of the item and the amount of time that elapsed since caching. Thus, scrub-jays appear to remember the ‘what-where-and-when’ of specific caching events in the past. Clayton & Dickinson (1998) argued that such performance met the behavioural criteria for episodic memory. However, because the study did not address the phenomenological aspects of episodic memory, the authors referred to this ability as “episodic-like” memory.


According to a study done by the University of Edinburgh in 2006 hummingbirds are the first animal to demonstrate two aspects of episodic memory - the ability to recall where certain flowers were located and how recently they were visited. Scientists tracked how often hummingbirds visited eight artificial flowers filled with a sucrose solution in the birds' feeding grounds. They refilled half the flowers at 10 minute intervals and the other half 20 minutes after they had been emptied. The birds' return to the flowers matched the refill schedules: flowers refilled at 10-minute intervals were visited sooner. "To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that animals in the wild can remember both the locations of food sources and when they visited them," said Susan Healy, of the University of Edinburgh.


References

  • Deisseroth K., Singla S., Toda H., Monje M., Palmer T.D., Malenka R.C. (2004) Excitation-neurogenesis coupling in adult neural stem/progenitor cells. Neuron. 2004 May 27;42(4):535-52.
  • Tulving, E. (1983). Elements of Episodic Memory. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Griffiths, D. P., Dickinson, A. & Clayton, N. S. (1999). Declarative and episodic memory: What can animals remember about their past? Trends in Cognitive Science, 3, 74–80.
  • Clayton, N. S. & Dickinson, A. (1998). Episodic-like memory during cache recovery by scrub-jays. Nature, 395, 272-274.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Episodic memory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1106 words)
Episodic memory, or autobiographical memory, a sub-category of declarative memory, is the recollection of events.
Episodic memory contrasts and interacts with semantic memory, the memory of facts and concepts.
The latter view is strengthened by recent evidence that neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus may ease the removal of old memories and increase the efficiency of forming new memories (Deisseroth et al 2004).
Memory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1889 words)
Declarative memory can be further sub-divided into semantic memory, which concerns facts taken independent of context; and episodic memory, which concerns information specific to a particular context, such as a time and place.
Episodic memory, on the other hand, is used for more personal memories, such as the sensations, emotions, and personal associations of a particular place or time.
A further major way to distinguish different memory functions is whether the content to be remembered is in the past, retrospective memory, or whether the content is to be remembered in the future, prospective memory.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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