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Memory is fundamental to human life, and though its mechanisms have come under intense scrutiny over the last half century, much still remains a mystery. Though certain regions of the brain, such as the medial temporal lobes and the hippocampal formation are known to be involved in memory processes, it has yet to be positively determined exactly which structures are responsible for storage of which types of memory - semantic (knowledge), episodic (events) and performance - and whether or not all structures are needed for memory functions to be complete. This paper looks at some of the research and the data obtained from studying patients with various degrees of amnesia following brain damage to try and elucidate the mechanisms by which memories are stored and retrieved, and which structures cooperate in these processes. Various theories exist as to exactly what parts of the brain are necessary for storage and recall of the various types of memory and they are presented here with evidence which appears to substantiate very diverse views. Until our knowledge of the neural basis of memory is complete, we will not be able to decide which of these theories is correct, since all have some basis in established fact. Since our only evidence in man comes from people who have suffered brain damage, it has been suggested that research in non-human primates may provide the answers at least to the structural basis of memory.

The study of the neural basis of memory has grown exponentially in recent years due to improved technology and the

increase in the number of species studied (Markowitsch, 2001). The basic mechanisms for information transfer within the brain are worked out in animal models, and a range of neurphysiological, neuropsychological and pathology studies are performed on human brains to elucidate the mechanisms in man. Much of the knowledge comes from the study of individuals with brain damage. Current theories involve...

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Memory. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:57, June 24, 2019, from