chapter  9
13 Pages

Brain mechanisms of declarative memory: The fundamental role of the hippocampus as revealed by studies on rodents

WithH. Eichenbaum

The observations from studies on amnesia in humans have provided a unique window into brain mechanisms of memory, focusing attention both on declarative memory as a special form of memory representation and on structures of the medial temporal lobe as critical to this kind of memory processing. However, this work by itself, even when complemented by observations for brain imaging in normal human subjects, offers only a preliminary insight into the brain mechanisms of memory. It tells us what kind of memory processing is accomplished by the medial temporal region, but it does not tell us how this kind of processing is accomplished in fundamental coding mechanisms and neural algorithms. To seek a deeper understanding of the cognitive and neurobiological mechanisms that underlie memory function, we need valid animals models of memory, and approaches that offer more detailed characterisations of the functional circuitry in the critical brain structures.