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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

Summer 1992, Vol. 4, No. 3, Pages 268-280
(doi: 10.1162/jocn.1992.4.3.268)
© 1992 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MEM: Mechanisms of Recollection
Article PDF (1.5 MB)

The MEM framework (Johnson, 1991a, b; Johnson & Hirst, 1992; Johnson & Multhaup, 1992) consists of a relatively small set of component cognitive processes configured into memory subsystems. Here MEM is used to discuss “recollection,” particularly the mechanisms by which aspects of experience become bound together to yield the phenomenal experience of contextually specific, event-like memories. I consider how central aspects of complex events are bound to each other and propose that these same cognitive activities operate to bind central and contextual elements into “episodic” memories. Attention is particularly focused on the role of reactivation in establishing complex memories and in strengthening or consolidating them over time.