Glossary

Alzheimer's disease A gradually progressive degenerative dementia of insidious onset that is characterized by early, prominent memory dysfunction and loss of the ability to perform activities of daily living.

amnesia Loss of memory.

dementia A behavioral description of any acquired disorder that involves amnesia plus impairment of at least one other cognitive ability, such as language, visuospatial function, attention, or problem solving. The degree of cognitive impairment must be severe enough to interfere with social functioning, occupational functioning, or activities of daily living.

Korsakoff syndrome An amnesic disorder resulting from severe thiamine deficiency, most often seen in patients with chronic alcoholism.

neocortex In evolutionary terms, the newest, most highly evolved region of the brain, containing six neuronal layers and forming the outer surface of the brain.

Memory is the ability to maintain previously learned information within an internal storage system so that it may be accessed and used at a later time. Memory may be observed in overt behavior, such as when a student recalls information from previous readings in order to answer questions on a test, or in less readily observable events, such as neuronal development and change. This article reviews the behavioral components of memory as well as the neurobiological bases and underlying neuroanatomical substrates believed to be important to memory functioning.

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