Chapter 3.1 Functional neuroanatomy of remote, episodic memory

Morris Moscovitch, Gordon Winocur, Lee Ryan, Lynn Nadel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We examine theories of remote episodic memory with special emphasis on functional neuroanatomy. The chapter highlights the debate between proponents of the standard consolidation model, which considers the hippocampus as a temporary memory structure needed only until memories are consolidated elsewhere, and proponents of multiple trace theory (MTT) who hold that the hippocampus always is needed to retain and recover detailed episodic memories. The theories are evaluated on evidence from behavioral, lesion, and functional neuroimaging studies in humans and other organisms, and in light of theories of anterograde memory function. The contribution of other neocortical structures to remote episodic memory is also reviewed in regard to these theories. Though the evidence is inconclusive with respect to some issues, we conclude that on balance it favors MTT. In the final sections of the chapter, we consider new directions in which the field is moving, with special emphasis on the relation between remote memory and other functions such as sematic memory, planning for the future, problem solving, theory of mind, and imagination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Episodic Memory
EditorsEkrem Dere, Joseph Huston, Alexander Easton, Lynn Nadel
Number of pages31
StatePublished - 2008

Publication series

NameHandbook of Behavioral Neuroscience
ISSN (Print)1569-7339


  • consolidation
  • episodic memory
  • hippocampus
  • medial temporal lobe
  • multiple trace theory
  • recollection
  • remote memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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