Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Psychol Rev. 2012 Jul;119(3):573-616. doi: 10.1037/a0028681.

Generalization through the recurrent interaction of episodic memories: a model of the hippocampal system.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Building 420, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. d.kumaran@ucl.ac.uk


In this article, we present a perspective on the role of the hippocampal system in generalization, instantiated in a computational model called REMERGE (recurrency and episodic memory results in generalization). We expose a fundamental, but neglected, tension between prevailing computational theories that emphasize the function of the hippocampus in pattern separation (Marr, 1971; McClelland, McNaughton, & O'Reilly, 1995), and empirical support for its role in generalization and flexible relational memory (Cohen & Eichenbaum, 1993; Eichenbaum, 1999). Our account provides a means by which to resolve this conflict, by demonstrating that the basic representational scheme envisioned by complementary learning systems theory (McClelland et al., 1995), which relies upon orthogonalized codes in the hippocampus, is compatible with efficient generalization-as long as there is recurrence rather than unidirectional flow within the hippocampal circuit or, more widely, between the hippocampus and neocortex. We propose that recurrent similarity computation, a process that facilitates the discovery of higher-order relationships between a set of related experiences, expands the scope of classical exemplar-based models of memory (e.g., Nosofsky, 1984) and allows the hippocampus to support generalization through interactions that unfold within a dynamically created memory space.

Copyright 2012 APA, all rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (18)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
Figure 7
Figure 8
Figure 9
Figure 10
Figure 11
Figure 12
Figure 13
Figure 14
Figure 15
Figure 16
Figure A1
Figure A2
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for American Psychological Association Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk