Winter 2015

Remembering

Authors
Larry Ryan Squire and John T. Wixted
Abstract

A major development in understanding the structure and organization of memory was the identification of the medial temporal lobe memory system as one of the brain systems that support memory. Work on this topic began in the 1950s with the study of the noted amnesic patient H.M. and culminated in studies of an animal model of human memory impairment in the nonhuman primate. These discoveries opened new frontiers of research concerned with the functional specialization of structures within the medial temporal lobe, the existence of multiple memory systems, the process of memory consolidation, and the role of neural replay and sleep in the consolidation process. This work also led to new insights about how and where memories are ultimately stored in the brain. All of this research has improved our understanding of how memory is affected by normal aging and why it is so profoundly impaired by the pathological processes associated with dementia.

LARRY R. SQUIRE, a Fellow of the American Academy since 1996, is Research Career Scientist at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Neurosciences, and Psychology at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of Memory and Brain (1987) and Memory: From Mind to Molecules (with Eric Kandel, 2009), and is also the Senior Editor of Fundamental Neuroscience (fourth edition, 2013).

JOHN T. WIXTED is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego. He is an Associate Editor of Psychological Review, and his work has been published in journals such as Trends in Neurosciences, Neuropsychologia, and Psychological Review; and in volumes such as The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Neuroscience (edited by Stephen Kosslyn and Kevin N. Ochsner, 2013) and Memory and Law (edited by Lynn Nadel and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, 2012).

To read this essay or subscribe to Dædalus, visit the Dædalus access page
Access now