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From perception to memory: Changes in memory systems across the lifespan

Ofen N & Shing YL (2013) From perception to memory: Changes in memory systems across the lifespan, Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 37 (9, Part B), pp. 2258-2267.

Human memory is not a unitary entity; rather it is thought to arise out of a complex architecture involving interactions between distinct representational systems that specialize in perceptual, semantic, and episodic representations. Neuropsychological and neuroimaging evidence are combined in support of models of memory systems, however most models only capture a ‘mature' state of human memory and there is little attempt to incorporate evidence of the contribution of developmental and senescence changes in various processes involved in memory across the lifespan. Here we review behavioral and neuroimaging evidence for changes in memory functioning across the lifespan and propose specific principles that may be used to extend models of human memory across the lifespan. In contrast to a simplistic reduced version of the adult model, we suggest that the architecture and dynamics of memory systems become gradually differentiated during development and that a dynamic shift toward favoring semantic memory occurs during aging. Characterizing transformations in memory systems across the lifespan can illustrate and inform us about the plasticity of human memory systems.

Episodic memory; Semantic memory; Cognitive development; Cognitive aging; Neuroimaging; Medial temporal lobe; MTL; Prefrontal cortex

AuthorsOfen Noa, Shing Yee Lee
Publication date11/2013
Publication date online25/04/2013
Date accepted by journal17/04/2013
ISSN 0149-7634

Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews: Volume 37, Issue 9, Part B (2013)

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