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Damage to the hippocampus, as first demonstrated with patient HM, results in a profound anterograde and temporally-graded retrograde amnesia. The observation that older memories could still be consciously recollected led to the proposal that, over time, information initially processed in the hippocampus is stored in a distributed cortical network. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) has recently been implicated in this process. Studies in rodents have demonstrated that the ACC is necessary for recalling behaviors learned a month or more in the past, but not for the same behaviors learned the previous day. Precisely how the ACC contributes to the recall of remote memories is unknown. Is this role distinct from myriad others proposed for the ACC, or has the approach taken in these studies of assessing function at different points after learning provided a new window through which to view established processes? The present review seeks to address this question. First, the data will be presented implicating the ACC in recall of remote memory. This will be followed by a discussion of studies describing two other primary roles of the ACC, mediating attention and premotor planning, with an emphasis on data collected in rodents, as these will be most directly comparable to the memory studies presented. The available evidence supports a connection among these roles, and suggests a possible synthesis for otherwise seemingly disparate functions reported for the ACC. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Aldis P Weible. Remembering to attend: the anterior cingulate cortex and remote memory. Behavioural brain research. 2013 May 15;245:63-75

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PMID: 23453992

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