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Continuum (Minneap Minn). 2010 Aug;16(4 Behavioral Neurology):15-28. doi: 10.1212/01.CON.0000368257.30791.3a.

Memory systems.

Abstract

Converging evidence from patient and neuroimaging studies suggests that memory is a collection of abilities that use different neuroanatomic systems. Neurologic injury may impair one or more of these memory systems. Episodic memory allows us to mentally travel back in time and relive an episode of our life. Episodic memory depends on the hippocampus, other medial temporal lobe structures, the limbic system, and the frontal lobes, as well as several other brain regions. Semantic memory provides our general knowledge about the world and is unconnected to any specific episode of our life. Although semantic memory likely involves much of the neocortex, the inferolateral temporal lobes (particularly the left) are most important. Procedural memory enables us to learn cognitive and behavioral skills and algorithms that operate at an automatic, unconscious level. Damage to the basal ganglia, cerebellum, and supplementary motor area often impair procedural memory.

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