Neuroscience

Raw or cooked: This is how we recognise food

Do we see a pear or an apple? The occipital cortex in our brain will activate itself to recognise it. A piece of bread or a nice plate of pasta with sauce? Another region will come into play, called the middle temporal gyrus. ...

Neuroscience

Finding traces of memory processing during sleep

Sleep helps us to retain the information that we have learned during the day. We know from animal experiments that new memories are reactivated during sleep. The brain replays previous experience while we sleep – and this ...

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Recognition memory

Recognition memory is a subcategory of declarative memory Essentially, it is the ability to correctly remember something that has been encountered before. It can be thought of as a matching process, comparing content in the environment with the content stored in memory. Recognition occurs if the environmental content (i.e. the stimulus) matches the memory content. (If there is a mismatch then recognition does not occur.)

Recognition memory can be subdivided into two components: recollection and familiarity, sometimes referred to as "remembering" and "knowing", respectively. Recollection involves remembering in detail a particular stimulus, including the context in which it was previously experienced. In contrast, familiarity only requires knowledge of the stimulus’s features – the basic realization that one has encountered the stimulus before. Thus, the fundamental distinction between the two processes is that recollection is context dependent whereas familiarity is context-independent. Another distinction is that familiarity is generally an unconscious or automatic process whereas recollection is conscious and effortful.

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