Case review: Episodic Memory

Unlike other living beings we humans have the unique capability of recalling days gone by. We're able to recall a earlier event and everything the emotions associated with the same while in a totally different situation or a new place(eg: first day in college or day you got the best learner prize etc. ). In short we can travel back again to the past in our minds. This sort of memory which involves recalling of earlier events is named episodic recollection. Episodic memory permits a person to remember personally experienced situations as such. It makes it easy for a person to be consciously aware of a youthful experience in a certain situation at a certain time. Thus, the information of episodic storage could be thought to concern the self's experience in subjective space and time (Tulving (1993), Current Directions in Psychological Science, 67). Episodic recollection along with Semantic memory space makes up Declarative memory space or Explicit recollection which is one of the key two divisions of ram. Semantic storage is involved in the storing of standard knowledge of the planet (impartial of person's identification or history) and makes it available for retrieval. Unlike episodic memory space, the retrieval process does not involve mental time travel. While using advanced techniques including the fMRI, the role of hippocampus and other related set ups in memory creation has been more developed. The question of how the brain we can re-experience episodes from our former still remains unanswered. Every event in our life is stored as ram in three stages.


The first stage is encoding. Encoding commences when an function is perceived and ends with the taking of the same. It's the initial handling of information that can be either visual or acoustic or both. From immediate memory space assessing lab tests like digit period it is possible to assess how much information has been encoded. Engram is the product of encoding. The word engram was presented by Richard Semon(1904). Some information is stored on the basis of their phonological characteristics (eg: ate, date, partner, skate). The sequences with similar audio were found to be recalled less effectively. This is really because the words with similar may seem have less distinguishing features in comparison with words which sound dissimilar (eg: take a seat, mall, dime, sour). Similarity of indicating (eg: accurate, precise, correct) has no such effect, meaning in immediate recollection process, coding is phonological and not in conditions of meaning (Baddeley, 1966a). How well can we bear in mind discovered information and what influences it? Craik and Lockhart (1972) suggests that information is way better remembered when it is encoded deeply. It can be illustrated by maintenance rehearsal and elaborative or relational rehearsal. The past is a shallow form of processing without giving thought to meaning of any subject or its association with some other object (eg: pointing out all the 3 notice words in a newspaper article) while the latter is the amount of processing which involves giving the thing a interpretation as well as associating it with some previous experience(eg: keeping in mind a cellphone no. which is comparable to national insurance no. ). In 1975, Craik and Tulving conducted an test which involved learning of 60 words by the members and then they were asked to recall some words when they are shown one of the next 3 questions. a) Was the word in top or lower circumstance? (Shallow handling or maintenance rehearsal), b) Does indeed the term rhyme with _____ ? (auditory handling) and c) Will the word fit in the following sentence? (Semantic handling - understanding meaning of the term, Elaborative rehearsal or profound handling). Out of another greater list, the participants were asked to choose the appropriate word, as the initial words had been mixed into this list. The participants were better in a position to remember words which had been processed deeper - that is, processed semantically, supporting degree of control theory.

It is visible through researches that there is a connection between episodic memory functions and the frontal lobes of the brain (Tulving, 1985; Schacter, 1987). The remaining and right prefrontal lobes are part of an considerable neuronal network that subserves episodic remembering, but the two prefrontal hemispheres play different tasks. Kept prefrontal cortical locations are differentially more involved in retrieval of information from semantic storage area and in all together encoding novel areas of the retrieved information into episodic storage. Right prefrontal cortical regions, on the other hands, are differentially more involved in episodic storage area retrieval (Tulving, E. , Kapur, S. , Craik, F. I. M. , Moscovitch, M. , & Houle, S. (1994)). Studies in to the neurobiological basis of storage essentially commenced with the situation of Patient H. M. The individual got severe epilepsy as a teenager and when he stopped responding to medication, bilateral temporal lobotomy was performed in which the medial temporal lobes on both sides of the mind were destroyed, removing the amygdala, area of the hippocampus, and encircling brain tissue. Following the surgery the patient was found to have grown to be seriously amnesic. H. M. experienced a complete lack of memory for situations after bilateral medial temporal lobe resection 19 months before, as well as a partial retrograde amnesia for the 3 years before his procedure; but early memories were apparently normal (Scoville WB, Milner B (1957)). H. M. 's credit score (112) on Wechsler-Bellevue Brains Scale confirmed that there was no impairment of standard intelligence however the below average rating (67) on Wechsler Memory Scale mirrored the destruction on memory. Another circumstance of amnesia was Clive Wearing's. He was a well known British musician and conductor who contracted a virus which only causes cold sores, but in his case it attacked the mind. This infection ruined his hippocampus which makes it impossible for him to create new recollections. He remembers hardly any from days gone by. But surprisingly he is still able to play his piano although he'll not bear in mind what he was participating in after he's done, which ultimately shows that his procedural storage was intact. His ram span is around 7-30 seconds meaning his capacity to hold on to information in his short term ram is lost.


The term "consolidation" was coined by the German analysts Mјller and Alfons Pilzecker. They claim that memory does take time to fixate or go through 'Konsolidierung' (Muller and Pilzecker, 1900). The word consolidation identifies the progressive post-acquisition stabilization of long-term recollection. Every new memory requires the perfect time to enter into long term memory. During this period it is prone to many interferences which can either be induced due for some external stimuli which can be in the form of injuries, attacks etc. These interferences can make stories fade in the duration of time. The interferences induced after learning is called retroactive interference and disturbance from preceding learning is referred to as proactive disturbance. Mјller and Pilzecker (1900) demonstrated the existence of retroactive disturbance by asking their experiment participants to learn a set of six syllable pairs by reading it aloud stressing on the next syllable. This is repeated 12 times. This was followed by a space of 18 seconds where the experiment equipment was made ready for the next list of syllables. During this time period difference the participant was either given another list (packed interval) or still left to relax(unfilled period). The participant was asked to create the next syllable when offered the first syllable of each pair. The result of the experiment showed that crammed intervals resulted in a lower ratio of recall.

Write about Interference with Loan consolidation?

Dewar et. al, (2010) evaluated the effect of retroactive interference in anterograde amnesia. They examined 10 significantly amnesic patients and 10 adjustments. The members were instructed to learn a passage and make an effort to remember whenever you can for immediate recall. The immediate recall was accompanied by a 10 minute time gap during which the participants were either asked to relax (unfilled interval) or to attend a build detection process (filled period). After the task the members were subjected to delayed recall. The amnesic individuals who had crammed intervals performed very inadequately during delayed recall in comparison with people that have unfilled intervals, which ultimately shows that any new information interferes with their capability to retain recently learned ones. The result reveals that anterograde amnesic patients are still in a position to form new stories but their ability to consolidate recollections is weak and poor. This contributes to the increased loss of previously discovered information when something new is discovered. The only way they can learn is to have a time hold off to strengthen the previously learned information before further learning.

Types of Consolidation

There are two types of loan consolidation - Synaptic Loan consolidation and System Consolidationii.

Synpatic Consolidation is seen among all types. In synaptic loan consolidation, long term memory space is the recollection which will last for more than 24 hours. Based on the standard model of synaptic consolidation, storage traces or engrams can can be found in two forms: short term and labile or permanent and steady. The short term memory track will either decay or transform to long term form or it will develop along with the permanent form. It is assumed that suprathreshold neurotransmitter indicators are involved in the long term form. These impulses trigger synaptic loan consolidation.

System Loan consolidation is in which the recollections from hippocampus are used in the neo-cortex where they may be stored in a far more permanent form. The standard style of system consolidation areas that long-term memories are documented in the hippocampal development and neocortex. Synaptic consolidation is assumed to be involved in the stabilization of the internal representations since it is achieved within a period of minutes to hours. Subsequently a system consolidation process is set up (triggering factor unknown) where the memory track is reorganized over a period of weeks and the burden of retention is shifted to the neocortex. Inevitably the neocortex separately maintains the inner representation and actualizes it on retrieval.

Memory trace theory


The process by which stored storage area is accessed is named retrieval. How exactly a ram is retrieved still remains hazy. In our daily life our company is constantly subjected to information. Some of this information operates as cues that makes us reminisce. This implies that the storage retrieval process is cue motivated. These cues for ram retrieval can either be explicit (eg: a term or a term) or Implicit (Dewar, 2010).

Tulving and Pearlstone (1966) in their analysis 'Supply versus convenience of information in memory for words' discovered that cued recall was higher than non-cued recall. They provided their individuals with lists of words which belonged to different categories. Fifty percent of the subjects were asked to remember what with category brands as cues and the spouse without cues. The latter 50 % was found to have the ability to remember more words when these were presented with cues.

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