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The consolidation theory

This job considers the theory that amnesia results from a consolidation deficit.

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Squire's (1992) view is that the hippocampus, and related structures, are necessary to establish declarative memories in a lasting manner in the neocortex. New associations are possibly formed through long-term potentiation (LTP), a form of synaptic plasticity. When a fact is associated with its semantic context, a new concept is formed. LTP binds together the regions that converge on the hippocampus, and possibly adjacent regions. These support the storage of information in the neocortex. Once memories are stored there, the hippocampus, eventually, becomes unnecessary for their organisation or retrieval. It is predicted that correct recognition, recall, and the associated confidence ratings, will be similarly impaired by damage to this region, but non-declarative memory will be preserved.

Hirst, Johnson, Phelps, & Volpe, (1988) tested free recall and recognition in amnesic patients. They showed a deficit for free recall but the same pattern of confidence in their recognition decisions as controls. This is not predicted by the consolidation deficit hypothesis. Haist, Shimamura, & Squire, (1992) were unable to replicate Hirst et al.'s (1988) ...

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Four tests of the theory are reported to determine if amnesia results from a void.