Memory, Perception, and the Ventral Visual-Perirhinal-Hippocampal Stream: Thinking Outside of the Boxes

Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Hippocampus (Impact Factor: 4.16). 09/2007; 17(9):898-908. DOI: 10.1002/hipo.20320
Source: PubMed


The prevailing paradigm in cognitive neuroscience assumes that the brain can be best understood as consisting of modules specialised for different psychological functions. Within the field of memory, we assume modules for different kinds of memory. The most influential version of this view posits a module called the "medial temporal lobe memory system" which operates in the service of "declarative memory." This system can be contrasted with a separate "perceptual representation system" in the ventral visual stream, which is critical for perceptual learning and memory, an example of nondeclarative function. Here we question this modular memory systems view and suggest that a better way to understand the ventral visual-perirhinal-hippocampal stream is as a hierarchically organised representational continuum. We suggest that in general, rather than trying to map psychological functions onto brain modules, we could benefit by instead attempting to understand the functions of brain regions in terms of the representations they contain, and the computations they perform.

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Available from: Tim Bussey, Jan 13, 2014
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    • "The dorsal stream is a network of cortical structures running from early visual areas to the posterior parietal lobe that have been described as processing “where/how” information (Ungerleider and Mishkin, 1982; Goodale and Milner, 1992). In contrast to the ventral stream, which has been implicated in the distributed representation of object identity (Bussey and Saksida, 2007), the dorsal stream supports coordination between visual inputs and movements (Perenin and Vighetto, 1988), possibly through the simultaneous representation of multiple locations in the visual field (Jackson et al., 2009). The dorsal stream is connected with limbic memory regions such as the HPC via the parieto-medial temporal pathway (Kravitz et al., 2011). "
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    • "e Liu & Richmond 2000, Mogami & Tanaka 2006, Ohyama et al. 2012. f Kent & Brown 2012, Naya et al. 2003b, Bussey & Saksida 2007. g Paz et al. 2006, Fernandez & Tendolkar 2006. "
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    • "In parts of the brain populated by what they call " replaceable neurons " , previous events may determine how recently new neurons were incorporated there and, according to their theory, how ready they will be to assimilate new information and hence to survive. This is relevant for us because the dentate gyrus – where adult neurogenesis takes place -is known to be involved in processing and encoding new stimuli [35] [36] . In addition, recent studies linked enriched environment with reduction of cerebral oxidative stress. "
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