Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Evolution of Memory, The

  • Marios ConstantinouEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1093-1



The adaptive function of memory and its role in the survival and fitness of the humankind. Memory is the process of acquiring, storing, and recalling/retrieving information either verbal, nonverbal, sensory, or emotional.


HM at the age of 27 lost his ability to memorize new information. A neurosurgical operation succeeded to reduce his intractable epileptic seizures but left him with a dense memory loss, amnesia. In the 1950s we did not know the important functioning of the hippocampi, the structures removed in HM’s surgery to reduce his epileptic activity. HM’s global amnesia developed immediately, given that the bilateral surgical removal of his hippocampi caused him to lose the ability to form new memories. Later of course this finding about the functioning of the hippocampi was cross-validated with more case studies and animal studies. Of course, neurosurgeons from then on took extra care not to...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social SciencesSchool of Humanities and Social SciencesNicosiaCyprus

Section editors and affiliations

  • Menelaos Apostolou
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus