Association Cortex and Memory

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Name and locate the three association areas in the cortex. Describe a unique function for each


  • Deals with tasks that are spatial and delayed
  • A lesion in the pre-frontal cortex would result in no real working memory.
    • Therefore a person would be unable to detect an object that is covered and then moved.
  • Children < 1 y.o. have not yet developed this part of their brain.


  1. Polymodal convergence of senses
    • right side: spatial representation of objects in space by touch, sight or sound
    • left side: language
  2. Attention
    • PTO allows focus on a specific object from among many


  • Consists of two parts:
    • Orbitofrontal
      • involved in emotion
      • popular cure for aggression in the days of old
      • a side effect of this "cure" was that it also destroyed initiative

    • Inferior Temporal
      • involved in long-term memory
      • right side is more involved in pictorial memory
      • left side is more involved in verbal memory (i.e., names of people)

When asked to close your eyes and point to an object in the room, explain what roles the frontal and PTO lobes play

  • The frontal lobe would be involved in the working memory aspect, or keeping in mind where everything was when your eyes were open
  • The PTO lobe would be involved in the spatial aspects, helping to get the pointing in the right direction and assigning where in space the object would be.

Describe how the primary, higher order and association areas of the cortex are interconnected

Explain how and why the two sides of the cortex differ in function

Describe the basis of left-sided neglect

  • The PTO seems to represent the right side in both hemispheres, but only one hemisphere represents the left side.
  • When the right PTO area is damaged, left-sided neglect occurs
  • Left-sided neglect (hemi-neglect) means that the person is completely unaware that the Left World even exists. They draw the right half of pictures and see the right half of people.
  • Amusing neglect story: A man finds a strange leg in his bed, and so grabs it and throws it off the bed, thinking that some bastard had been playing a cruel joke. He falls to the ground, since he is connected to this leg: It was his and he didn't know!

Describe the three main types of memory and give an everyday example of each

Working Memory (Short-term)

  • the "scratch pad" of the brain
  • things are stored here temporarily until they are either discarded or processed further
  • e.g., a telephone number

Procedural Memory (Long-term)

  • Knowing how to do something
  • Does not get affected by amnesia
  • e.g., riding a bike

Declarative Memory (Long-term)

Consists of two types, both of which are affected by amnesia:

  • Semantic
  • Episodic
    • Remembering events or a timeline

What type of memory does the ability to read involve? Explain why

It occurs to me that the ability to read involves all of the types of memory. One would have to have working memory to retain what has just been read. One needs Procedural memory to know how to read or process language. Finally, one needs semantic memory and perhaps episodic memory to place what is read into a useful context.

Describe the probable deficits in a patient with a bilateral lesion of the medial temporal lobe

  • The medial temporal lobe is most directly related to episodic memory, so this is what would be affected most..

Using everyday examples of the different types of memory, list which type will be normal and which will be impaired

Explain why

Explain the process of consolidating and retrieving memories


  • Information is kept in working memory through a reverberating mechanism
  • Information is consolidated in the brain by strengthening synaptic pathways


  • Information is retrieved by dumping from "long term memory" (wherever the hell that is) to the working memory.
  • The hippocampus is involved(???)