Sensing the world
Remembering the world
In 1995 O'Reilly proposed that "the
has a low learning rate and uses overlapping distributed representations to extract the general statistical structure of the environment, whereas the
learns rapidly using separated representations to encode the details of specific events while minimizing interference". In normal language this means that the neocortex is relatively undisturbed by a day's worth of experience. This experience has to be incorporated in its neural structure by careful 'uploading', called consolidation. Consolidation is believed to happen during sleep. Although the role of the hippocampus in spatial navigation is often emphasized, in 1998 Burgess proposed that a system capable of navigation might also serve episodic memory, the memory for specific events (as opposed to declarative or factual memory, of which a memory of the source of this knowledge is lacking in most cases). The narrative of our life (which makes an important contribution to our sense of self) depends, for its creation, not on the big human neocortex, but on the old hippocampus.
Living in the world & body