Observing the transformation of experience into memory

Trends Cogn Sci. 2002 Feb 1;6(2):93-102. doi: 10.1016/s1364-6613(00)01845-3.


The ability to remember one's past depends on neural processing set in motion at the moment each event is experienced. Memory formation can be observed by segregating neural responses according to whether or not each event is recalled or recognized on a subsequent memory test. Subsequent memory analyses have been performed with various neural measures, including brain potentials extracted from intracranial and extracranial electroencephalographic recordings, and hemodynamic responses from functional magnetic resonance imaging. Neural responses can predict which events, and which aspects of those events, will be subsequently remembered or forgotten, thereby elucidating the neurocognitive processes that establish durable episodic memories.