Insights into Hippocampal-Dependent Declarative Memory: Recent Findings and Clinical Implications The hippocampus, a structure within the medial temporal lobe, is critical for declarative memory — the form of memory that allows us to remember our experiences and the events of daily life. Traditional descriptions of hippocampal function focus on the explicit nature of declarative memory and emphasize long-term declarative memories ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2014
Insights into Hippocampal-Dependent Declarative Memory: Recent Findings and Clinical Implications
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rachael D. Rubin
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
    Cognitive Neuroscience group, Beckman Institute, Urbana, IL
  • Neal J. Cohen
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
    Cognitive Neuroscience group, Beckman Institute, Urbana, IL
  • Financial Disclosure: Rachael D. Rubin is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Neal J. Cohen is a Professor in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience Program, and Beckman Institute, and Director of the Neuroscience Program and the Center for Nutrition, Learning, and Memory (CNLM) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    Financial Disclosure: Rachael D. Rubin is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Neal J. Cohen is a Professor in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience Program, and Beckman Institute, and Director of the Neuroscience Program and the Center for Nutrition, Learning, and Memory (CNLM) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.×
  • Nonfinancial Disclosure: Rachael D. Rubin has previously published in the subject area. Neal J. Cohen has previously published in the subject area.
    Nonfinancial Disclosure: Rachael D. Rubin has previously published in the subject area. Neal J. Cohen has previously published in the subject area.×
Article Information
Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Articles
Article   |   April 01, 2014
Insights into Hippocampal-Dependent Declarative Memory: Recent Findings and Clinical Implications
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, April 2014, Vol. 24, 34-42. doi:10.1044/nnsld24.2.34
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, April 2014, Vol. 24, 34-42. doi:10.1044/nnsld24.2.34

The hippocampus, a structure within the medial temporal lobe, is critical for declarative memory — the form of memory that allows us to remember our experiences and the events of daily life. Traditional descriptions of hippocampal function focus on the explicit nature of declarative memory and emphasize long-term declarative memories in particular. However, recent findings suggest the hippocampus is more precisely characterized by the ability to bind arbitrary relations and flexibly link distinct aspects of experience (i.e., relational memory). This conceptualization does not limit the contribution of the hippocampus to a particular time-scale or domain, but suggests its contribution is determined by task demands. Indeed, we present a set of studies demonstrating the hippocampus contributes to memory for “common ground” —the mutually shared knowledge that is essential to language processing and communication—but only when arbitrary, flexible representations are required. This outcome has clinical implications for patients with hippocampal dysfunction, a feature of many neurological and psychiatric conditions. These patients may experience related language processing, communication, and even social deficits; however, these patients may benefit from rehabilitation strategies that draw upon residual skills and knowledge to promote processing in complimentary, intact neural systems that rely less on declarative memory.

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