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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

Summer 1992, Vol. 4, No. 3, Pages 257-267
(doi: 10.1162/jocn.1992.4.3.257)
© 1992 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Memory and Working-with-Memory: A Component Process Model Based on Modules and Central Systems
Article PDF (1.27 MB)

A neuropsychological model of memory is proposed that incorporates Fodor's (1983) idea of modules and central systems. The model has four essential components: (1) a non-frontal neocortical component that consists of perceptual (and perhaps interpretative semantic) modules that mediate performance on item-specific, implicit tests of memory, (2) a modular medial temporal/hippocampal component that mediates encoding, storage, and retrieval on explicit, episodic tests of memory that are associative/cue dependent, (3) a central system, frontal-lobe component that mediates performance on explicit tests that are strategic and on procedural tests that are rule-bound, and (4) a basal ganglia component that mediates performance on sensorimotor, procedural tests of memory. The usefulness of the modular/central system construct is explored and evidence from studies of normal, amnesic, agnosic, and demented people is provided to support the model.