A review of long-term memory in natural and synthetic systems
AbstractMemory may be broadly regarded as information gained from past experience that is available in the service of ongoing and future adaptive behavior. The biological implementation of memory shares little with memory in synthetic cognitive systems where it is typically regarded as a passive storage structure. Neurophysiological evidence indicates that memory is neither passive nor centralized. A review of the relevant literature in the biological and computer sciences is conducted and a novel methodology is applied that incorporates neuroethological approaches with general biological inspiration in the design of synthetic cognitive systems: a case study regarding episodic memory provides an illustration of the utility of this methodology. As a consequence of applying this approach to the reinterpretation of the implementation of memory in synthetic systems, four fundamental functional principles are derived that are in accordance with neuroscientific theory, and which may be applied to the design of more adaptive and robust synthetic cognitive systems: priming, cross-modal associations, cross-modal coordination without semantic information transfer, and global system behavior resulting from activation dynamics within the memory system.