Work is reviewed that relates recognition memory to studies of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in perirhinal and prefrontal cortices. The aim is to consider evidence that perirhinal cortex and medial prefrontal cortex store rather than merely transmit information necessary for recognition memory and, if so, to consider what mechanisms are potentially available within these cortices for producing such storage through synaptic change. Interventions with known actions on plasticity mechanisms are reviewed in relation to their effects on recognition memory processes. These interventions importantly include those involving antagonism of glutamatergic and cholinergic receptors but also inhibition of plasticity consolidation and expression mechanisms. It is concluded that there is strong evidence that perirhinal cortex is involved in information storage necessary for object recognition memory and, moreover, that such storage involves synaptic weakening mechanisms including the removal of AMPA glutamate receptors from synapses. There is good evidence that medial prefrontal cortex is necessary for associative and temporal order recognition memory and that this cortex expresses plasticity mechanisms that potentially allow the storage of information. However, the case for medial prefrontal cortex acting as a store requires further support. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.