A significant memory loss that is too extensive to be due to normal forgetting. See also Anterograde amnesia, Retrograde amnesia.
A hypothetical process involving the gradual conversion of information into durable memory codes stored in long-term memory.
Paivio's theory that memory is enhanced by forming semantic and visual codes, since either can lead to recall.
Electrical stimulation of the brain (ESB)
Sending a weak electric current into a brain structure to stimulate (activate) it.
Encoding specificity principle
The idea that the value of a retrieval cue depends on how well it corresponds to the memory code.
The part of the brain that includes the cerebellum and two structures found in the lower part of the brainstem: the medulla and the pons.
The tendency to mold one's interpretation of the past to fit how events actually turned out.
Type of memory apparent when retention is exhibited on a task that does not require intentional remembering.
The idea that people forget information because of competition from other material.
A mnemonic technique in which one associates a concrete word with an abstract word and generates an image to represent the concrete word.
The theory holding that deeper levels of mental processing result in longer-lasting memory codes.
Long-term memory (LTM)
An unlimited capacity store that can hold information over lengthy periods of time.
Long-term potentiation (LTP)
A long-lasting increase in neural excitability in synapses along a specific neural pathway.
Method of loci
A mnemonic device that involves taking an imaginary walk along a familiar path where images of items to be remembered are associated with certain locations.
Parallel distributed processing (PDP) models
Models of memory that assume cognitive processes depend on patterns of activation in highly interconnected computational networks that resemble neural networks. Also called connectionist models.
A memory problem that occurs when previously learned information interferes with the retention of new information.
The process of deciding whether memories are based on external sources (our perceptions of actual events) or internal sources (our thoughts and imaginations).
A memory test that requires subjects to select previously learned information from an array of options.
A memory test that requires a subject to memorize information a second time to determine how much time or effort is saved by having learned it before.
A memory problem that occurs when new information impairs the retention of previously learned information.
The ability to remember events from the past or previously learned information.
Semantic memory system
General knowledge that is not tied to the time when the information was learned.
The preservation of information in its original sensory form for a brief time, usually only a fraction of a second.
In memory tests, the fact that subjects show better recall for items at the beginning and end of a list than for items in the middle.
Short-term memory (STM)
A limited-capacity store that can maintain unrehearsed information for about 20 to 30 seconds.
An error that occurs when a memory derived from one source is misattributed to another source.
A temporary inability to remember something accompanied by a feeling that it's just out of reach.