Theories of episodic memory

Andrew R. Mayes and Neil Roberts

in Episodic Memory: New Directions in Research

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780198508809
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191687396 | DOI:
Theories of episodic memory

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This chapter first outlines the processes and information involved in making episodic representations at encoding and considers the underlying brain regions. Second, major views about the psychological and physiological processes underlying consolidation and long-term storage of episodic representations are outlined and differing views concerning where these processes are located in the brain are discussed. Third, views about how retrieval is achieved and the feeling that retrieved episodes are being remembered is examined. Which brain structures mediate these processes are discussed. Where relevant, the similarities and differences between episodic memory and both semantic memory and priming are discussed whilst these theories are assessed. Each section highlights where there are theoretical disagreements, or processes and their neural bases that have been poorly specified, and considers how lesion and functional neuroimaging research is helping with theory development in these problem areas.

Keywords: episodic memory; long-term storage; retrieval; semantic memory; brain lesions; functional neuroimaging

Chapter.  13558 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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