Memory involves the acquisition, storage, recall, and reproduction of information. Memory depends on intact functioning of the limbic system (p. 144) and areas of the brain that are connected to it.
Declarative or explicit memory (i.e., memory for facts and events) can be consciously accessed and depends on intact functioning of the medio-basal portion of the temporal lobe. The duration of information storage may be relatively short (short-term, immediate, and working memory) or long (long-term memory). Verbal (telephone number) or visuospatial information (how to find a street) can be directly recalled from short-term memory. The entorhinal cortex plays a key role in these memory functions: all information from cortical regions (frontal, temporal, parietal) travels first to the entorhinal cortex and then, by way of the parahippocampal and perirhinal cortex, to the hippocampus. There is also a reciprocal projection from the hippocampus back to the entorhinal cortex. Long-term memory stores events of personal history that occurred at particular times (episodic memory for a conversation, one's wedding day, last year's holiday; orbitofrontal cortex) as well as conceptual, non-time-related knowledge (semantic memory for the capital of Spain, the number of centimeters in a meter, the meaning of the word "stethoscope"; subserved by different cortical regions).
Nondeclarative (procedural, implicit) memory, on the other hand, cannot be consciously accessed. Learned motor programs (riding a bicycle, swimming, playing the piano), problem-solving (rules), recognition of information acquired earlier (priming), and conditioned learning (avoiding a hot burner on the stove, sitting still in school) belong to this category. Nondeclarative memory is mediated by the basal ganglia (motor function), neocortex (priming), cerebellum (conditioning), striatum (agility), amygdala (emotional responses), and reflex pathways. Examination. Only disturbances of declarative memory (amnesia) can be studied by clinical examination. Short-term memory: the acquisition of new information is tested by having the patient repeat a series of numbers or groups of words and asking for this information again
5-10 minutes later. The patient's orientation (name, place of residence/address, time/date) and long-term memory (place of birth, education, place of employment, family, general knowledge) are also tested by directed questioning.
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