Consolidation of long-term memory: Evidence and alternatives

M Meeter*, JMJ Murre

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    88 Citations (Web of Science)

    Abstract

    Memory loss in retrograde amnesia has long been held to be larger for recent periods than for remote periods, a pattern usually referred to as the Ribot gradient. One explanation for this gradient is consolidation of long-term memories. Several computational models of such a process have shown how consolidation can explain characteristics of amnesia, but they have not elucidated how consolidation must be envisaged. Here findings are reviewed that shed light on how consolidation may be implemented in the brain. Moreover, consolidation is contrasted with alternative theories of the Ribot gradient. Consolidation theory, multiple trace theory, and semantization can all handle some findings well but not others. Conclusive evidence for or against consolidation thus remains to be found.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)843-857
    Number of pages15
    JournalPsychological Bulletin
    Volume130
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004

    Keywords

    • MEDIAL TEMPORAL-LOBE
    • MULTIPLE-TRACE THEORY
    • TIME-LIMITED ROLE
    • RETROGRADE-AMNESIA
    • SEMANTIC DEMENTIA
    • AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMORY
    • HIPPOCAMPAL COMPLEX
    • ANTEROGRADE AMNESIA
    • ALZHEIMERS-DISEASE
    • EPISODIC MEMORY

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