Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Rev Neurosci. 2007 Nov;8(11):872-83.

Recognition memory and the medial temporal lobe: a new perspective.

Author information

Veterans Affairs Medical Center (116A), 3350 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, California 92161, USA.


Recognition memory is widely viewed as consisting of two components, recollection and familiarity, which have been proposed to be dependent on the hippocampus and the adjacent perirhinal cortex, respectively. Here, we propose an alternative perspective: we suggest that the methods traditionally used to separate recollection from familiarity instead separate strong memories from weak memories. A review of work with humans, monkeys and rodents finds evidence for familiarity signals (as well as recollection signals) in the hippocampus and recollection signals (as well as familiarity signals) in the perirhinal cortex. We also indicate ways in which the functions of the medial temporal lobe structures are different, and suggest that these structures work together in a cooperative and complementary way.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center