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The influence of prior knowledge on memory: A developmental cognitive neuroscience perspective

Brod G, Werkle-Bergner M & Shing YL (2013) The influence of prior knowledge on memory: A developmental cognitive neuroscience perspective, Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 7, Art. No.: 139.

Across ontogenetic development, individuals gather manifold experiences during which they detect regularities in their environment and thereby accumulate knowledge. This knowledge is used to guide behavior, make predictions, and acquire further new knowledge. In this review, we discuss the influence of prior knowledge on memory from both the psychology and the emerging cognitive neuroscience literature and provide a developmental perspective on this topic. Recent neuroscience findings point to a prominent role of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and of the hippocampus (HC) in the emergence of prior knowledge and in its application during the processes of successful memory encoding, consolidation, and retrieval. We take the lateral PFC into consideration as well and discuss changes in both medial and lateral PFC and HC across development and postulate how these may be related to the development of the use of prior knowledge for remembering. For future direction, we argue that, to measure age differential effects of prior knowledge on memory, it is necessary to distinguish the availability of prior knowledge from its accessibility and use.

lifespan development; child development; hippocampus; medial prefrontal cortex; semantic memory; prior knowledge; lateral prefrontal cortex; episodic memory

AuthorsBrod Garvin, Werkle-Bergner Markus, Shing Yee Lee
Publication date08/10/2013
Publication date online08/10/2013
Date accepted by journal17/09/2013
PublisherFrontiers Media
ISSN 1662-5153

Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience: Volume 7 (2013)

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