After over 100 years of relative silence in the cognitive literature, recent advances in the study of the neural underpinnings of memory—specifically, the hippocampus—have led to a resurgence of interest in the topic of forgetting. This review draws a theoretically driven picture of the effects of time on forgetting of hippocampus-dependent memories. We review evidence indicating that time-dependent forgetting across short and long timescales is reflected in progressive degradation of hippocampal-dependent relational information. This evidence provides an important extension to a growing body of research accumulated in recent years, showing that—in contrast to the once prevailing view that the hippocampus is exclusively involved in memory and forgetting over long timescales—the role of the hippocampus also extends to memory and forgetting over short timescales. Thus, we maintain that similar rules govern not only remembering but also forgetting of hippocampus-dependent information over short and long timescales.

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