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about spatial relationships, the context in which events were experienced, and the associations among
https://oli.cmu.edu/jcourse/workbook/activity/page?context=c09d351f80020ca600a2c769b3f6d9f1 Page 2 of 6 The Biology of Memory 12/26/13, 4:23 PM memories.  The hippocampus also serves in part as a switching point that holds the memory for a short
time and then directs the information to other parts of the brain, such as the cortex, to actually do the
rehearsing, elaboration, and long-term storage.  Without the hippocampus, which might be described as
the brain’s “librarian,” our explicit memories would be inefficient and disorganized. Even so, the older we
get, the more susceptible we are to proactive and retroactive interference, which shows that the “librarian”
finds it harder to retrieve the right memory from a pile of similar memories as we age. In people with
Alzheimer’s disease, a neurodegenerative disease which is most common in the elderly, the hippocampus is
severely atrophied. Unsurprisingly, one of the most common symptoms of this disease is the inability to form
new memories, followed by a loss of the most recent memories and, finally, the loss of old memories. Schematic Image of Brain...
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- Spring '08