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Saturday, November 27, 2004

Semantic Memory and Episodic Memory

( Via NovaSpivack)An interesting new brain study reveals processing differences between Semantic Memory and Episodic Memory in human brains. Nature performs these functions differently, and there is probably a good reason why that is so. On the Web we don't really have an equivalent of Episodic Memory or Semantic Memory yet... but we're working on it!Excerpts from the interesting article :

The Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care reports that,
over a period of several months prior to the brain scan, volunteers documented dozens of unique events from their personal lives on a micro cassette recorder (episodic memories). At the same time, they recorded statements about personal facts of their lives (semantic memories). The researchers played these recordings back to the volunteers while their brains were being scanned with FMRI. A few brain imaging studies have already found differences in the brain between factual and episodic autobiographical memory. However, the participants in those studies were asked to recollect memories that were usually several years old, and it was impossible to tell how often they had been rehearsed over the years. This new study, on the other hand, used episodes from daily life that were only a few months old. The volunteers made dozens of event recordings within minutes or hours of the actual event. Only a fraction of these were selected at random for use in the study, so volunteers had no idea which ones they were until they heard them through the headphones in the scanner. The recordings created a very rich recollective experience, enabling scientists to tease out more easily the different brain regions associated with factual (semantic) and episodic autobiographical memories.
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