The Persistence of Memory: How the Brain Encodes Time in Memory.
Teki S., Gu B-M., Meck WH.
Time and memory are inextricably linked, but it is far from clear how event durations and temporal sequences are encoded in memory. In this review, we focus on resource allocation models of working memory which suggest that memory resources can be flexibly distributed amongst several items such that the precision of working memory decreases with the number of items to be encoded. This type of model is consistent with human performance in working memory tasks based on visual, auditory as well as temporal stimulus patterns. At the neural-network level, we focus on excitatory-inhibitory oscillatary processes that are able to encode both interval timing and working memory in a coupled excitatory-inhibitory network. This modification of the striatal beat-frequency model of interval timing shows how memories for multiple time intervals are represented by neural oscillations and can also be used to explain the mechanisms of resource allocation in working memory.