chapter  5
64 Pages

Memory disorders

Information that is learned is stored in what is referred to as the long-term memory store (LTMS). However, for this to happen the material has to be stored into memory by what is referred to here as the consolidation system. The consolidation system, which includes such structures as the hippocampus (see Figure 1.3), is often not mentioned in cognitive psychology models. Perhaps this is because these models were originally developed on subjects who had nothing wrong with the process of memory storage. However, the need for positing such a system is clear since there are some patients who have an intact working memory but an inability to consolidate memories into a form that is more permanent. In other words, these patients are able to manipulate information and keep this information in mind for brief periods (working memory). They also have the ability to retrieve information from the LTMS (for information learned prior to the brain damage). But they are unable to store new permanent memories into the LTMS since the onset of their brain damage because in these cases the consolidation system is damaged. For new

long-term memories to be created an intact consolidation system is required (Figure 5.2).