Computational and Functional Specialization of Memory
The Wiley Handbook on the Cognitive Neuroscience of Learning
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This chapter describes how people's work on the neural and cognitive mechanisms of perception and memory provides an example of an interdisciplinary research approach that allows the rapprochement between theory, observation of behavior, and neural mechanism. It develops a theory of visual and mnemonic processing in the ventral visual stream (VVS) and medial temporal lobe (MTL) that is situated at a relatively coarse-grained neurobiological level, explaining cognition primarily in terms of the organization of object representations in the brain. The chapter reveals two key assumptions of prevailing theories of object processing. The first is that visual perception and visual memory are served by distinct cognitive and neural mechanisms. The second is that any residual memory performance at short delays in individuals with MTL damage must be underpinned by a short-term memory system that is distinct from an MTL-dependent memory operating at longer delays.