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My question is what is the role of the hippocampus, neocortex and amygdala in the encoding, storage and retrieval of declarative (explicit) memory, specifically episodic and semantic

I am sort of confused as to what the role of the neocortex and hippocampus is in explicit long term memory. I have found some sources of information to show my thought process, what I have researched to find an answer.


The consolidation of memory into the neocortex is thought to involve a loss of time and place, contextual information, and a transition to more gist-based, fact-like semantic memory.

Figure 2(b) shows that hippocampus = remembering specifics (episodic) and neocortex=extracting generalities (transition into semantic)

Semantic memory is stored by the same systems as in episodic memory. These include hippocampal and temporal lobes to encode memories.


This has me thinking that the role of the hippocampus is to store episodic memory, and the role of the neocortex is to store semantic memory from the episodic memory recalled by hippocampus. However, I read up that hippocampus is responsible for storing both episodic and semantic memory which has me slightly confused as to what exactly the neocortex does?

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  • $\begingroup$ I think one could easily fill books on the sentence you have in bold. I think you'll find that brain functions are not easily reduced like this, it's not like a human-designed machine where each part has a specific function that only that part does and that part has no other function. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    May 5, 2023 at 15:32
  • $\begingroup$ Yep. But I'm a high school student and the examiners will assess us on terms that each brain has a specific function or works together to form a specific function. What I'm required to know is what brain regions (specifically the hippocampus, amygdala and neocortex) interact or function to form the encoding, storage and retrieval of 1. episodic memory and 2. semantic memory. $\endgroup$
    – charl2.718
    May 6, 2023 at 3:02
  • $\begingroup$ How would one simplify the roles of these 3 brain regions in explicit memory? $\endgroup$
    – charl2.718
    May 6, 2023 at 3:03
  • $\begingroup$ Then you need to learn what your examiners specifically expect you to know and report; we don't make your exam. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    May 6, 2023 at 3:21

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