Human memory reconsolidation can be explained using the temporal context model

Per B. Sederberg, Samuel J. Gershman, Sean M. Polyn, Kenneth A. Norman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Recent work by Hupbach, Gomez, Hardt, and Nadel (Learning & Memory, 14, 47-53, 2007) and Hupbach, Gomez, and Nadel (Memory, 17, 502-510, 2009) suggests that episodic memory for a previously studied list can be updated to include new items, if participants are reminded of the earlier list just prior to learning a new list. The key finding from the Hupbach studies was an asymmetric pattern of intrusions, whereby participants intruded numerous items from the second list when trying to recall the first list, but not viceversa. Hupbach et al. (2007; 2009) explained this pattern in terms of a cellular reconsolidation process, whereby first-list memory is rendered labile by the reminder and the labile memory is then updated to include items from the second list. Here, we show that the temporal context model of memory, which lacks a cellular reconsolidation process, can account for the asymmetric intrusion effect, using wellestablished principles of contextual reinstatement and item-context binding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-468
Number of pages14
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


  • Computational modeling
  • Episodic memory
  • Reconsolidation
  • Temporal context


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