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Expertise paradigms for investigating the neural substrates of stable memories

Campitelli, G. and Speelman, C. (2013) Expertise paradigms for investigating the neural substrates of stable memories. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7 .

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One of the hallmarks of acquiring expertise in any area of life is the ability to maintain relevant information over a long period of time (i.e., years or decades). Understanding the neural implementations of this ability requires the elucidation of two issues. First, the processes whereby recently acquired pieces of information become stable over time (i.e., memory consolidation); and second, the localization of these stable memories in the brain.

Unlike neurobiological and neuropsychological memory research, brain imaging research has paid little attention to these issues. Instead, most memory research in brain imaging has focused on the processes of memory encoding and retrieval. In this article we first succinctly present the current debate on the localization of stable memories in neurobiology and neuropsychology. We then discuss the difficulties in studying the localization of stable memories in human neuroimaging. After presenting the most traditional paradigm in studying long-term memory and the autobiographical memory paradigm, we present three expertise brain imaging paradigms. We also discuss how the latter help overcome the technical difficulties to investigate the neural localization of stable memories.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Copyright: © 2013 Campitelli and Speelman
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