The Society for Neuroscience(SfN) was formed 40 years ago and to commemorate the occasion, the journal of Neuroscience has made some review articles open-access. They are written by leading luminaries in their filed and are somewhat scholarly- though I found some of them pretty accessible too.
Two articles relate to reviewing memory research in the past 40 years and both are a pretty good read. The first is written by Larry Squire and gives you a broad overview of memory research. The second by Eric Kandel focuses more on the molecular aspects of memory formation- but is an excellent article and ends with 11 still unresolved questions for the next 40 years in the memory research.
There is another article by Marcus Raichle that I found pretty interesting, partly because of my continuing fascination with the default brain network and the intrinsic activity of the brain. this again is a very accessible article that brings one up to speed on the 40 yrs of imaging with special focus on the default brain network.
There are other retrospectives there including one on neurotransmitters so go to the source and enjoy the ride.
Hat Tip: Mind Hacks
Squire, L. (2009). Memory and Brain Systems: 1969-2009 Journal of Neuroscience, 29 (41), 12711-12716 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3575-09.2009
Kandel, E. (2009). The Biology of Memory: A Forty-Year Perspective Journal of Neuroscience, 29 (41), 12748-12756 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3958-09.2009
Raichle, M. (2009). A Paradigm Shift in Functional Brain Imaging Journal of Neuroscience, 29 (41), 12729-12734 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4366-09.2009