Memory, Distributed

  • Leon N. Cooper
Part of the Readings from the Encyclopedia of Neuroscience book series (REN)


That most intriguing aspect of human memory, is its persistence in spite of continual loss of individual neurons over the lifetime of the individual, has led many workers to the concept of distributed memory. For distributed memory (more like a hologram than a photograph) possesses in a very natural way the property of relative invulnerability to the loss of storage units: individual memory sites hold superimposed information concerning many events. In order to obtain a single event, information must be gathered from many sites. Loss of individual units decreases signal-to-noise ratios but does not lose items of information.


Firing Rate Neural Activity Intrigue Aspect Synaptic Junction Average Firing Rate 
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Further reading

  1. Anderson JA (1972): Simple neural network generating an interactive memory. Math Biosci 14: 197–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cooper LN (1974): A possible organization of animal memory and learning. In: Proceedings of Nobel Symposium on Collective Properties of Physical Systems, Lindquist B, Lindquist S, eds. New York: Academic PressGoogle Scholar
  3. Kohonen T (1972): Correlation matrix memories. IEEE Trans Computers C 21: 353–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Kohonen T (1977): Associative Memory: A System Theoretic Approach. Berlin: Springer-VerlagCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Longuet-Higgins HC (1968): Holographic model of temporal recall. Nature 217: 104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Pribram K, Nuwer M, Baron R (1974): The holographic hypothesis of memory structure in brain function and perception. In: Contemporary Developments in Mathematical Psychology, vol 2, Krautz DH, Atkinson RC, Luce RD, Suppes P, eds. San Francisco: WH FreemanGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leon N. Cooper

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