Journal of Undergraduate Research


contextual elements, memory specificity, computational process


Family, Home, and Social Sciences




Regions of the brain, such as the medial temporal lobe (MTL), including the hippocampus and the adjacent MTL cortex, facilitate recognition memory performance (Squire, Stark, & Clark, 2004). The hippocampus is known for its ability to encode and retrieve memories through two processes called pattern separation and pattern completion (Mcclelland, Mcnaughton, & Oreilly, 1995). Pattern separation is a computational process in which the memory representations of similar stimuli are made as dissimilar as possible. This allows one to recall differences between old stimuli and similar, but novel stimuli. Pattern completion is a computational process where a memory representation is retrieved by a degraded or partial cue. This process may result in an old stimulus being recalled but the differences between the old and similar not being registered.

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