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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal NATURE REVIEWS NEUROSCIENCE
Volume (Issue) 11(7)
Page(s) 523 - 532
Title of proceedings NATURE REVIEWS NEUROSCIENCE

Abstract

Prominent models of human long-term memory discriminate memory systems based on consciousness of learning or remembering. These models provide for conscious, but not unconscious, memories of experienced episodes. Forming episodic memories requires the rapid and automatic encoding of multiple associations between an episode’s spatial, temporal, sensory, emotional, and conceptual aspects. Rapid associative learning is considered dependent on the hippocampus and consciousness of learning. Yet, recent evidence indicates that hippocampus mediates rapid associative learning with and without consciousness, in humans and animals, for long-term and short-term retention. A model is proposed that distinguishes memory systems based on the processing operations required by a learning situation rather than consciousness.
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