Costs of Memory: Ideas and Predictions Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Studies on the ecology of animal memory have focused on the benefits of memory while implicitly assuming that there are costs as well. Here I discuss probable costs of memory by relying on knowledge from molecular biology and physiology, which indicates that the maintenance of accurate information in animals is an active and costly process of maintenance and repair. Redundancy probably plays a key role in ensuring a high level of accuracy; its cost is in terms of additional tissue, which increases body mass and energetic expenditure. Examining the magnitude and cost of redundancy at the neurobiological and behavioral levels can help us understand the cost of memory in particular and cognitive abilities in general.

publication date

  • March 1999