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Wrapping a memory with an experience, capacity for recollection detected in non-human species

humans, indicating the existence of recollection and familiarity in support of recognition performance.

The researchers divided the rats into two comparable groups: a group in which the hippocampus was removed and a control group. When the rats were again tested, the results were compelling -- recollection was lost in rats without a hippocampus but familiarity remained intact. A further test of the controls showed that, in the normal forgetting process, familiarity fades quickly while recollection persists, precisely the opposite pattern observed in the animals without a hippocampus.

This combination of results provides strong evidence that animals, contrary to Aristotle's contention, exhibit recollection as well as familiarity. Furthermore, the findings point to the hippocampus as critical to the process of recollection.


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Contact: Ann Marie Menting
amenting@bu.edu
617-358-1240
Boston University
8-Sep-2004


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