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The gradual incorporation of information into the neocortex during consolidation avoids this problem.In a recent revision of this framework (Mc Clelland 2013), neocortical learning is characterized, not so much as fast or slow, but as dependent on prior knowledge.The study of autobiographical memory presents unique challenges because it depends on the analysis of spoken narratives that are often difficult to corroborate and on elaborate scoring methods that can be difficult to duplicate across laboratories. Squire and Bayley (2007) offer additional discussion of single-case reports. Performance on the remote memory (childhood) portion of the autobiographical memory interview (Kopelman et al.
By this process, the hippocampus gradually becomes less important for storage and retrieval, and a more permanent memory develops in distributed regions of the neocortex.
This information directs the training of a “slow learning” neocortex, whereby the hippocampus gradually guides the development of connections between the multiple cortical regions that are active at the time of learning and that represent the memory.
Training of the neocortex by the hippocampus (termed “interleaved” training) allows new information to be assimilated into neocortical networks with a minimum of interference. 1995), rapid learning of new information, which was inconsistent with prior knowledge, was shown to cause interference and disrupt previously established representations (“catastrophic interference”).
Recent work has begun to characterize the neural mechanisms that underlie the dialogue between the hippocampus and neocortex (e.g., “neural replay,” which occurs during sharp wave ripple activity).
New work has also identified variables, such as the amount of preexisting knowledge, that affect the rate of consolidation.