Memory, modelling and Marr: a commentary on Marr (1971) 'Simple memory: a theory of archicortex'

D. J. Willshaw, P. Dayan, Richard G M Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract

David Marr's theory of the archicortex, a brain structure now more commonly known as the hippocampus and hippocampal formation, is an epochal contribution to theoretical neuroscience. Addressing the problem of how information about 10 000 events could be stored in the archicortex during the day so that they can be retrieved using partial information and then transferred to the neocortex overnight, the paper presages a whole wealth of later empirical and theoretical work, proving impressively prescient. Despite this impending success, Marr later apparently grew dissatisfied with this style of modelling, but he went on to make seminal suggestions that continue to resonate loudly throughout the field of theoretical neuroscience. We describe Marr's theory of the archicortex and his theory of theories, setting them into their original and a contemporary context, and assessing their impact. This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20140383
Number of pages11
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume370
Issue number1666
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2015

Keywords

  • hippocampus
  • theoretical neuroscience
  • memory
  • LONG-TERM POTENTIATION
  • COMPLEMENTARY LEARNING-SYSTEMS
  • RABBIT FOLLOWING STIMULATION
  • FREELY MOVING RATS
  • DENTATE GYRUS
  • SYNAPTIC-TRANSMISSION
  • ASSOCIATIVE MEMORY
  • PATTERN SEPARATION
  • ENTORHINAL CORTEX
  • LASTING POTENTIATION

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