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In Search of Lost Time. An Economic Theory of Episodic Memory

Listed author(s):
  • Antoine Billot

The model of memory process we propose is based on two assumptions. First, spatial or adresses network models in economics can be easily adapted to describe a significative part of the episodic memory mechanism as defined by Tulving (1983). Second, brain viewed as a network behaves as a decision-maker who arbitrates between two economic dimensions of recollection: the reward —i.e., the satisfaction for recovering old informations located in mnesic traces —and the cost —i.e., the price for stimulating the traces network. Indeed, the two results exhibited in the paper —and devoted to a formal and appealing characterization of true and false recollections — are directly derived from the idea of a rational brain. Finally, this paper aims at showing that it could be relevant to model memory processes in a pure symbolic way —contrary to most of the neuroeconomics contributions which are generally experimental —and also that such an attempt for an abstract and analogical representation of the episodic memory process based on a spatial microeconomics methodology seems to be specially efficient and illustrative of Hintzman (1986) and recent Doeller et al. (2010) intuitions and features. JEL Classification: C91, D81.

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Article provided by De Boeck Université in its journal Recherches économiques de Louvain.

Volume (Year): 78 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 29-45

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Handle: RePEc:cai:reldbu:rel_783_0029
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