Neuroscience 3600 final exam prep

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  1. What is the main theory of the memory retrieval precess?
    Regeneration of the full pattern of the original neural activity which took place at the even. Recall often happens due to a 'retrieval cue' which forms part of the experience. With spontaneous recall, there may be random neural firing that acts as a retrieval cue.
  2. What is consolidation, with reference to memory.
    Consolidation is the process by which a memory becomes more stable; the reason that long term amnesia is less likely to be caused by head trauma or electrical shock than short term retrograde and anterograde amnesia.
  3. Theoretically, what is the function of the hippocampus?
    When a memory is created, information from the hippocampus goes down into the association and primary cortices. This cascade of information to lower modules creates an 'index' of memories, and allows stimulation of one of the lower level index patterns via a particular cue causes the entire memory to be recalled.
  4. How does consolidation of a memory rule out the need for hippocampal function?
    The hippocampus is the central indexing module. By repeatedly recalling particular memories, the brain builds up neural connections between lower modules. This consolidation rules out the need for an indexing module higher up.
  5. When can spontaneous reactivation of recent memory indices happen?
    When the brain is not busy trying to process many external inputs. (Mostly during sleep or quiet wakefulness.)
  6. Is cortical (ie consolidated) memory useful for episodic memory?
    It seems that it is not. More likely it is useful for generalized memories, or the gist of a situation; however, for more detailed recollection studies indicate that the hippocampus might still be required.
  7. What is declarative memory?
    • Consists of two different types of memory: Episodic and Semantic.
    • Episodic has to do with person experience recollection, while semantic is factual information (language, world, & object knowledge)
  8. What is memory?
    Pattern completion of a pattern that was displayed during a particular experience.
  9. Where is the hippocampus located?
    Describe its shape.
    • The temporal lobe.
    • It has a roughly 'C' shape.
  10. Who is HM? What was his role in the studies of memory?
    • HM was an epileptic patient who, after having a bilateral temporal lobectomy, lost the ability to recall many memories (the more recent, the worse) as well as the ability to create new memories.
    • His role as a study subject allowed for a more detailed understanding of the hippocampus and memory in general in humans.
  11. Describe an example of memory recollection during sleep.
    The simultaneous recording of multiple 'place' cells in the brain of a rat while it completes a route-following task, then the recording of those same cells while it sleeps. There was a strong correlation with the firing of those cells, suggesting the rat was recalling the routes followed earlier.
  12. Describe the example of electrical stimulation increasing the recollection of word-pair learning.
    Lisa Marshall and a team studied the effects of electrical stimulation of the brain during sleep. A test group was taught word-pair combinations and asked to sleep afterward. Electrical stimulation of the subject through the slow wave stage of sleep induced slow-wave oscillations and increased the subject's ability to learn.
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Neuroscience 3600 final exam prep
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