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Peering into the dark well of human memory, researchers have produced compelling new evidence for at least two independent systems of memory long theorized by neuroscientists, which go to the heart of how the brain learns and remembers.

In a series of remarkable experiments with patients suffering from different kinds of brain damage, the researchers showed that some could not learn a new task but could easily recall being tutored in it, while others could learn the new task, even though they were never able to recall the many sessions in which they tried it.

The experiments, conducted by researchers at the Universities of California, highlight the difference between conscious memory and non-conscious learning abilities.

Published in the journal Science, the reports are the latest in a series of studies that shed new light into the intersection of the conscious mind, cognition, and the physical structure of the human brain.

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