elements fit into the organism's pre-existing knowledge. During memory consolidation, some elements of memory are incorporated into pre-existing schemata; others might form the basis for new schemata; still others will be lost.
These ideas differ from the view that memories are fixed entities, traces of prior experience, uninfluenced by subsequent or prior events, and changed only by slow erosion. Memory consolidation by our view is not a relentlessly gradual or passive process. The ideas developed here fit more comfortably with a view of memory as a dynamic process, which changes over time through reorganization and assimilation to pre-existing memories, and which is affected by subsequent memory-storage episodes. This view has precedents in the work of Bartlett ( 1982), Rumelhart & Norman ( 1978), and in psychoanalytic theory (see for example, Feldman, 1977). It should be clear that we view consolidation as subserving just this sort of dynamism in memory.
Supported by the Medical Research Service of the Veterans Administration, NIMH Grant MH24600, NIMH Grant MH08020, and NINCDS Grant I ROINS 17712. This paper grows out of several years of intermittent discussions among the three of us. In reaching the present perspective, a number of significant ideas evolved in ways that make them part of all of us, rather than attributable to any one individual. This paper presents our synthesis of these discussions and for us celebrates our collaboration.
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