Providing additional support is the study of functional brain activity in humans which has revealed that the activity of brain regions changes over time after a new memory is acquired.
This change can occur as quickly as a couple hours after the memory has been encoded suggesting that there is a temporal dimension to the reorganization of the memory as it is represented in the brain.
Research into other patients with resections of the MTL have shown a positive relationship between the degree of memory impairment and the extent of MTL removal which points to a temporal gradient in the consolidating nature of the MTL.
These studies were accompanied by the creation of animal models of human amnesia in an effort to identify brain substrates critical for slow consolidation.
Coining of the term "consolidation" is credited to the German researchers Müller and Alfons Pilzecker who rediscovered the concept that memory takes time to fixate or undergo "Konsolidierung" in their studies conducted between 18.
The two proposed the perseveration-consolidation hypothesis after they found that new information learned could disrupt information previously learnt if not enough time had passed to allow the old information to be consolidated.
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co.
and occurs within the first few hours after learning, and systems consolidation, where hippocampus-dependent memories become independent of the hippocampus over a period of weeks to years.
Recently, a third process has become the focus of research, reconsolidation, in which previously-consolidated memories can be made labile again through reactivation of the memory trace.
Memory consolidation was first referred to in the writings of the renowned Roman teacher of rhetoric Quintillian. that the interval of a single night will greatly increase the strength of the memory," and presented the possibility that "… undergoes a process of ripening and maturing during the time which intervenes." The process of consolidation was later proposed based on clinical data illustrated in 1882 by Ribot’s Law of Regression, "progressive destruction advances progressively from the unstable to the stable". Burnham a few years later in a paper on amnesia integrating findings from experimental psychology and neurology.
The universalism of the Prophets was inadequate for the consolidating of a nation.
Member of the commission for consolidating the statutes, 1856.
Meanwhile, neuropharmacological studies of selected brain areas began to shed light on the molecules possibly responsible for fast consolidation.