The objective of research in Artificial Intelligence (AI) is to reproduce human cognitive abilities by means of modern computers. The results of the last few years seem to announce a technological revolution that could profoundly change society. We focus our interest on two fundamental cognitive aspects, learning and memory. Associative memories offer the possibility to store information elements and to retrieve them using a sub-part of their content, thus mimicking human memory. Deep Learning allows to transition from an analog perception of the outside world to a sparse and more compact representation.In Chapter 2, we present a neural associative memory model inspired by Willshaw networks, with constrained connectivity. This brings an performance improvement in message retrieval and a more efficient storage of information.In Chapter 3, a convolutional architecture was applied on a task of reading partially displayed words under similar conditions as in a former psychology study on human subjects. This experiment put inevidence the similarities in behavior of the network with the human subjects regarding various properties of the display of words.Chapter 4 introduces a new method for representing categories usingneuron assemblies in deep networks. For problems with a large number of classes, this allows to reduce significantly the dimensions of a network.Chapter 5 describes a method for interfacing deep unsupervised networks with clique-based associative memories.