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Psychology Glossary

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Consolidation



Consolidation:

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Consolidation is primarily a Neuropsychology term, referring to a process in which information is stored in various parts of the brain and then put together fairly quickly to "recall" an event or memory. The neurons in one part of the brain establish pathways or connections to neurons elsewhere so that even if one part is destroyed, other types of memory could be preserved.

In the 1960s, a patient who had part of his brain surgically removed was shown to lose some long term memory but not his childhood memories. He lost his temporal lobe but it appears that nervous interaction with other areas of the brain, such as the lateral cortex, resulted in those childhood experiences being stored elsewhere. We can compare Consolidation to the backup disk that we use to store some of the documents in our hard drive.