Network memory

Trends Neurosci. 1997 Oct;20(10):451-9. doi: 10.1016/s0166-2236(97)01128-4.


Our thinking on the cortical organization of primate memory is undergoing a copernican change, from a neuropsychology that localizes different memories in different areas to one that views memory as a distributed property of cortical systems. We are shifting our focus from 'systems of memory' to the memory of systems. The same cortical systems that serve us to perceive and move in the world serve us to remember it. Our memories are networks of interconnected cortical neurons, formed by association, that contain our experiences in their connectional structure. Perceptual and motor memory networks are hierarchically organized in post-rolandic and pre-rolandic neocortex, respectively. Recall, recognition and working memory consist largely in their reactivation, also by association.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology