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The Role of Consciousness in Memory — Brains, Minds & …

The remaining three steps of the cognitive cycle impact this account of what the IDA model has to say about memory by producing the actions that are shaped using conscious contents from subsequent cycles.

Miyake, A., and P. Shah. 1999. Models of Working Memory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

In Step 5 of the cognitive cycle, a single coalition of codelets, typically composed of one or more attention codelets and their covey of relevant information codelets, wins the competition, gains access to the global workspace, and has its contents broadcast to all the codelets in the system. This broadcast is hypothesized to be a necessary condition for conscious experiences as reported in scientific studies (Baars, 1988, 2002). This “global access” broadcast step embodies the major hypothesis of global workspace theory, the linking of the broadcast with conscious cognition , which has been supported by a number of recent neuroscience studies (Dehaene 2001; Dehaene and Naccache 2001; Baars 2002; Cooney and Gazzaniga 2003).

Memory Enhancement and Deep-Brain Stimulation of the Entorhinal Area

The IDA model leads us to hypothesize that . The model also claims that, at recurring times not part of a cognitive cycle, the undecayed contents of transient episodic memory are consolidated into long-term declarative memory. This suggests in humans a location of TEM in the hippocampal system (Shastri 2001, 2002).

Within a single cognitive cycle, the bringing of contents to consciousness is automatic. Existing attention codelets form coalitions and compete for access to the global workspace, i.e., to consciousness. All this is automatic. However, over multiple cycles, the IDA model allows for conscious, voluntary attention. For example, while I am writing the phone rings. Shall I answer it or let the machine screen the call? A voluntary decision is taken to answer the call (Franklin 2000b), producing an intention to direct attention to a particular incoming stimulus. Each such voluntary decision spawns an attention codelet, in this case one that, likely, will bring the intention to consciousness, setting in motion the instantiation of a goal context hierarchy intent on answering the phone. (See Steps 6 and 7 below for details on how this happens.)

The Role of Consciousness in Memory — Brains, Minds …

In addition to broadcasting the contents of consciousness to the processors (codelets) in the system and storing them in TEM, the IDA model hypothesizes a third event occurring during Step 6 of the cognitive cycle. Details of this process will be discussed in the section entitled “The Learning of Interpretations” to be found below.

IDA’s mechanism for the competition for consciousness agrees quite nicely with Gray’s neuroscience-based model, in which top-down and bottom-up processes interact to produce the contents of consciousness (1995, 2002). Attention codelets, and in particular the expectation codelets, constitute the top-down processes, while the information codelets from LTWM account for the bottom-up processes. Attention codelets are top-down in the sense that they are often instantiated by IDA’s action selection mechanism, that is, by goal-context hierarchies. Information codelets are bottom-up in that they carry information derived from incoming exogenous or endogenous stimuli or from some of the various forms of memory, WM, TEM, and DM.

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Memory Enhancement and Deep-Brain Stimulation of …

An unusual aspect of the IDA model is transient episodic memory (TEM), an episodic memory with a decay rate measured in hours. Though often assumed (Panksepp 1998, p 129, assumes a “transient memory store”), the existence of such a memory has rarely been explicitly asserted (Donald 2001; Conway 2001; Baars and Franklin 2003). It will play a major role in the hypotheses about memory systems generated by the IDA model.

The MacGuffin: The Cholinergic Hypothesis of Depression?

Humans are blessed with a variety of long-term memory types that decay exceedingly slowly, if at all. Memory researchers typically distinguish between procedural memory, the memory for motor skills including verbal skills, and declarative memory. In the IDA model, declarative memory (DM) is composed of autobiographical memory, described in a previous paragraph, and semantic memory, memories of fact or belief typically lacking a particular source with a time and place of acquisition. In contrast, semantic memories have lost their association with their original autobiographical source. DM is a single system within the IDA model. These declarative memory systems are accessed by means of specific cues from working memory. The IDA model hypothesizes that DM decays inversely with the strength of the memory traces (see Figure 5 for the general shape of the curve).

intact recognition memory, after cholinergic depletion of ..

Though “perceptual memory” is often used synonymously with “sensory memory,” we follow Taylor and use the term differently (1999 p. 29). Like semantic memory, perceptual memory is a memory for individuals, categories, and their relations. The IDA model distinguishes between semantic memory and perceptual memory (PM) and hypothesizes distinct mechanisms for each. According to the model, PM plays the major role in recognition, categorization, and more generally the assignment of interpretations, for example the recognition of situation. Upon presentation of features of an incoming stimulus, PM returns interpretations. The content of semantic memory is hypothesized to be a superset of that of PM. All this discussion essentially restates the most controversial part of our , the claim of distinct mechanisms for PM and semantic memory. Several types of evidence, of varying degrees of persuasiveness, support this dissociation.

Aging: The cholinergic hypothesis of cognitive decline

Episodic or autobiographical memory is memory for events having features of a particular time and place (Baddeley, Conway and Aggleton 2001). This memory system is associative and content-addressable.

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