The Neurophilosophy of Memory: Reconciling Stable Engrams and Neural Dynamics

Sarah Robins, Philosophy, University of Kansas
September 21, 2018, 275 Nicholson Hall

The neurobiology of memory is the study of engrams—the neural mechanisms responsible for forming, storing, and retrieving memories. Commitment to engrams has long been presumed necessary for explaining memory, but is challenged by increased attention to neural dynamics. How does the stable engram fit into an ever-changing brain? There are many proposals for revising engrams, allowing a memory’s content, location, or structure to change over time. Each offers a distinct conception of the engram and they cannot all be tested simultaneously. Using the resources of philosophy of neuroscience and memory, I provide a theoretical framework for evaluating these alternatives.


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