“The present contains nothing more than the past, and what is found in the effect was already in the cause.”

Henri L Bergson



Hierarchical process memory: memory as an integral component of information processing 


Uri Hasson, Janice Chen, Christopher J. Honey



Models of working memory commonly focus on how information is encoded into and retrieved from storage at specific moments. However, in the majority of real-life processes, past information is used continuously to process incoming information across multiple timescales. Considering single unit, electrocorticography, and functional imaging data, we argue that (i) virtually all cortical circuits can accumulate information over time, and (ii) the timescales of accumulation vary hierarchically, from early sensory areas with short processing timescales (tens to hundreds of milliseconds) to higher-order areas with long processing timescales (many seconds to minutes). In this hierarchical systems perspective, memory is not restricted to a few localized stores, but is intrinsic to information processing that unfolds throughout the brain on multiple timescales.


Read more:

1. Hasson U, Chen J, Honey CJ (2015) Hierarchical process memory: memory as an integral component of information processing. Trends Cogn Sci 19:304-313. [PDF]

2. Lerner Y, Honey CJ, Silbert LJ, Hasson U (2011) Topographic mapping of a hierarchy of temporal receptive windows using a narrated story. J Neurosci 31:2906-2915. [PDF]

3. Honey CJ, Thesen T, Donner TH, Silbert LJ, Carlson CE, Devinsky O, Doyle WK, Rubin N, Heeger DJ, Hasson U (2012) Slow cortical dynamics and the accumulation of information over long timescales. Neuron 76:423-434. [PDF]

4. Lerner Y, Honey CJ, Katkov M, Hasson U (2014) Temporal scaling of neural responses to compressed and dilated natural speech. J Neurophysiol 111:2433-2444. [PDF]

5. Stephens GJ, Honey CJ, Hasson U (2013) A place for time: the spatiotemporal structure of neural dynamics during natural audition. J Neurophysiol 110:2019-2026. [PDF]