Implicit and explicit memory in amnesia: some explanations and predictions by the TraceLink model

Memory. 1997 Jan-Mar;5(1-2):213-32. doi: 10.1080/741941155.


After a brief overview of some of the characteristics and neuroanatomy of amnesia, a new model of amnesia is described: the TraceLink model. One novel aspect of the model is that it makes specific and testable predictions regarding semantic dementia, a recently described disorder that is viewed here as being related to amnesia. The TraceLink model consists of: a trace system (roughly the neocortix), a link system (hippocampus and adjacent areas), and a modulatory system (certain basal forebrain nuclei). Different forms of learning in the TraceLink model are explained, followed by a discussion of implicit and explicit memory, prominence (ease of recall) and persistence (resistance to brain damage), consolidation, and Ribot gradients in retrograde amnesia. Patterns of recovery from retrograde amnesia are also discussed, and novel predictions are derived regarding implicit memory and various forms of amnesia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amnesia / physiopathology*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Dementia / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological*