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Lecture 7

Long Term Memory: Lecture 7 - Consolidation & Storage

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Lecture 7: Consolidation & Storage What you consciously experience is a RECONSTRUCTION of what happened. CONSOLIDATION After encoding, memory continues to change and evolve, dynamic & fragile  changes are either beneficial or deleterious. During periods of consolidation memories become more permanent, but also alter in content. It takes time for a memory to become enduring. There is a prolonged process of consolidation during which memory is stored. Immediately after encoding memory is FRAGILE  amnesia can be induced, but this only occurs in a specific length of time. It takes a prolonged period for memory to be built. EXPERIMENT: For neg. scenes: As time progressed and the person was awake (during which the person engaged in various tasks), ability to recognise/remember the scenes declined. BUT after sleep, scene recall IMPROVED. Suggests that sleep is a significant stage during which memories are developed and strengthened. Sleep:  Memory building occurs after a while of encoding, esp. during sleep.  Only emotional info. is retained and consolidated in memory during sleep. Sleep has no beneficial effect on remembering neutral objects.  The content of the memory changes after a full night’s sleep.  The Emotional info is what is more biologically important than the neutral info., thus the brain selectively chooses to consolidate them during sleep. RETRIEVAL Reactivation:  Hypothesis: Memory retrieval involves an approx. reinstatement of the pattern of neural activity that was originally experienced during encoding.  Donald Hebb: Neurons that fire sequentially wire together. Connections become amplified. o If these neurons fire again, the image/object is retrieved  regenerating the pattern of neural activity that originally occurred during the initial stimulus-response. NOTE: Just because the same pattern of neurons are reactivated, doesn’t mean the memory is accurate/same as original happening!  Wilder Penfield o Pre-surgical mapping of cortex: Mapped brain before anything was cut out. Direct electrical stimulation of the cortex while the patient was awake. o If the electrical stimulation of a brain part caused the patient to perform a certain function, then they avoided cutting out that part. o Stimulation of certain brain parts caused the person to remember vivid memories. Eg. Stimulation of visual cortex  triggered a vivid, visual recollection. Auditor
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