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Overall, the mechanisms of memory are not well understood. Brain areas such as the hippocampus, the amygdala, or the mammillary bodies are thought to be involved in certain kinds of memory. For example, the hippocampus is believed to be involved in spatial learning and declarative learning. Damage to certain areas in patients and animal models and subsequent memory deficits is a primary source of information. However, rather than implicating a specific area, it could be that damage to adjacent areas, or to a pathway traveling through the area is actually responsible for the observed deficit. Further, it is not sufficient to describe memory, and its counterpart, learning, as solely dependent on specific brain regions. Learning and memory are attributed to changes in neuronal synapses, thought to be mediated by long-term potentiation and long-term depression.
References & Bibliography
- Deutsch. J.A.(1973)(ed.) The Physiological Basis of Memory, New York: Academic Press.
- Squire, L.R. (1987) Memory and Brain, Oxford: Oxford University Press.