Hippocampal-neocortical interactions in memory formation, consolidation, and reconsolidation

Annu Rev Psychol. 2010;61:49-79, C1-4. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.093008.100523.


This review, focusing on work using animals, updates a theoretical approach whose aim is to translate neuropsychological ideas about the psychological and anatomical organization of memory into the neurobiological domain. It is suggested that episodic-like memory consists of both automatic and controlled components, with the medial temporal mediation of memory encoding including neurobiological mechanisms that are primarily automatic or incidental. These ideas, in the cognitive and behavioral domain, are linked to neurophysiological ideas about cellular consolidation concerning synaptic potentiation, particularly the relationship between protein synthesis-dependent long-term changes and shorter-lasting post-translational mechanisms. Ideas from psychology about mental schemas are considered in relation to the phenomenon of systems consolidation and, specifically, about how prior knowledge can alter the rate at which consolidation occurs. Finally, the hippocampal-neocortical interactions theory is updated in relation to reconsolidation, a process that enables updating of stored memory traces in response to novelty.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Glutamic Acid / physiology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Neocortex / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / physiology


  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Glutamic Acid