Intermediate-Term Memory as a Bridge between Working and Long-Term Memory

Kamiński J.,                                                                                                                                                                      Publication


Journal of Neuroscience (2017)


In this latent state, memories are by definition not actively maintained—a fundamental characteristic of working memory—because they are out of the attentional focus. Neither are these memories permanently hardwired within the neuronal network. Rather, these memories represent a stage between working memory and long-term memory, a stage that molecular neurobiologists refer to as intermediate-term memory.

Intermediate-term memory is a state between working memory and long-term memory. After encoding, an item can be maintained in an active state through spiking activity. Short-term synaptic plasticity (STSP) allows information to be recovered if it temporarily drops out of the focus of attention. STSP also initiates the process of creating a stable memory, which requires longer-lasting processes like gene transcription. Finally, long-term synaptic plasticity (LTSP) creates stable long-term memories. Whenever information in working memory switch state to a latent form, the process of encoding it to long-term memories can be stopped in every stage and information is lost; however, if the process continues, the memory can be brought back to the active state.

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