Chapter 1.5 The attributes of episodic memory processing

Michael R. Hunsaker, Raymond P. Kesner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Despite decades of research on episodic memory in humans, a universally accepted model of episodic memory processes in animals has not been developed. Selectively isolating and probing the "what," "when," and "where" of a given behavioral episode has proven very difficult in nonhuman primates, rodents, and birds. In this chapter, a novel description of episodic memory processing in rodents is presented in which the processes underlying behavioral episodes are dissected into component domains called attributes. It is subsequently demonstrated that the concurrent presence or behavioral relevance of any or all attributes does not necessarily make a given memory process episodic in nature. It is demonstrated that a specific type of interaction between temporal, sensory/perceptual, and spatial attributes results in behavioral episodes that can be retrieved via hippocampus-dependent episodic retrieval processes. The role of the hippocampus in mediating these attributes will be discussed, followed by a discussion of contributions from the amygdala, caudate, and perirhinal cortex to episodic-like memory processes and how damage to these structures cause episodic-like memory deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-79
Number of pages23
JournalHandbook of Behavioral Neuroscience
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • affect
  • attributes
  • episodic memory
  • response
  • rodents
  • sensory/perceptual
  • spatial
  • temporal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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