Scientific Understanding of Consciousness
Consciousness as an Emergent Property of Thalamocortical Activity

Episodic Memory


Episodic memory is autobiographical memory, the recollection of information that is linked to an individual's personal experiences. (Andreasen; Creating Brain, 71)

Episodic memory is uniquely human. (Gazzaniga; Human, 303)

Hippocampus is activated when people are asked to recall personal or 'episodic' memories. (Carter; Mapping the Mind, 166)

Episodic memory, enabled by the hippocampal system, is not essential for consciousness. (Carter; Mapping the Mind, 205)

We need a functioning hippocampus to reexperience unique moments in our past. (Corkin; Permanent Present Tense, 230)

The ability to form associations between events including where they occur and what is present is the fundamental property of episodic memory. (Rolls; Emotion Explained, 196)

Spatial processing involves a snapshot type of memory, in which one whole scene must be remembered.  This memory may then be a special case of episodic memory, which involves an arbitrary association of a particular set of events that describe a past episode. (Rolls; Memory, Attention, and Decision-Making, 41)

Episodic memory is claimed to be uniquely human, a mental travel back in time that endows the individual with the capacity to reference personal experiences in the context of both time and space. (Buzsáki; Rhythms of the Brain, 292)

Episodic memory, the long term recall of sequences of events or narratives, depends on interactions between the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex. (Edelman; Wider than the Sky, 51)

The orbitofrontal cortex is involved in autobiographical memory that is mostly emotional and of personal significance. (Zald & Rauch; Orbitofrontal Cortex, 285)

One of the main characteristics of episodic memory is that the contents are stored with respect to time and place during information acquisition. (Zald & Rauch; Orbitofrontal Cortex, 292)

Gestalt psychologists -- every experience leaves a trace or residue in the brain.  Experiences are stored as traces, reactivated when we retrieve the episodes from memory. (Levitin; Your Brain on Music, 134)


Research Study — Episodic Memory consists of Associations of Objects, Space and Time


Research Study — Hippocampal Place-Cell Episodic Memory Context Basis for Recollectionspatial coding of the hippocampal place-cell system is part of a more general engine of episodic memory in which items become associated with their spatiotemporal contexts, and retrieval of items    reinstates those contexts    to help cue other context-appropriate memories.

Research Study — Entorhinal Cortex for Temporal Association Memory


Hippocampus in Episodic and Semantic Memory

Research work in humans suggests that the hippocampal—entorhinal system is involved in both episodic and semantic memories. (Buzsáki; Rhythms of the Brain, 327)

Hippocampal theta oscillations are related to episodic and semantic memory. (Buzsáki; Rhythms of the Brain, 331)

An ideal structure for episode coding and recall is an autoassociator with a large random synaptic space, since free recall is essentially a pattern completion problem. (Buzsáki; Rhythms of the Brain, 332)

The extensive axon arbors of CA3 pyramidal cells and their recursive CA3—CA3 and CA3—CA1 connections are ideal for storing large numbers of episodic memories and for retrieving them efficiently. (Buzsáki; Rhythms of the Brain, 332)

A theory of the hippocampus in which the CA3 neurons operate as an autoassociation memory to store episodic memories including object and place memories, and the dentate granule cells operate as a preprocessing stage by performing pattern separation so that the mossy fibers could act to set up different representations for each memory to be stored in the CA3 cells. (Rolls; Memory, Attention, and Decision-Making, 37)


Research study — Episodic Memory — Medial Temporal Lobe

Research study — Entorhinal Cortex for Temporal Association Memory

Research study — Episodic Memory Decisions Induce Lingering Mnemonic Biases


Succession of Perceptual Categorizations

Cerebellum contributes to feature correlation and is an indispensable early component in forming the basis of memory and ultimately of primary consciousness. (Edelman; Remembered Present, 126)

Succession of perceptual categorizations yielding a short-term memory, critical to consciousness; hippocampus as an organ of succession. (Edelman; Remembered Present, 127)

Cerebellum has no direct role in consciousness. (Edelman; Remembered Present, 126)

Cerebellum is essential in early motor learning that relates the categorization of gestures to perceptual categorizations. (Edelman; Remembered Present, 126)

Structure of the cortex suggests that it has no direct role in linking categorizations that are successive in time. (Edelman; Remembered Present, 127)



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