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the ability to store and retrieve info over time


we transform what we perceive, think, or feel into an enduring memory. Memories are made by combining info we already have with new info coming in.


maintaining info in memory over time


bringing to mind info that has been encoded and stored

Elaborative encoding

actively relating new info to knowledge already in memory

Visual imagery encoding

storing new info by converting it into mental pictures

Organizational encoding

categorizing info by the relationships among items

Sensory memory

storage that holds sensory info for a few seconds or less

Short-term (STM)

storage holding non-sensory info for more than a few seconds but less than a minute


the process of keeping info in STM by mentally repeating it


combining small pieces of info into larger clusters more easily held in STM

Long-term memory (LTM)

storage that holds info for hours, days, weeks, or years


a major excitatory neurotransmitter involved in information transmission throughout the brain, used in memory

NDMA receptors

they influence the flow of information between neurons by controlling the initiation of LTP in most hippocampal pathways.

long-term potentiation

a possible source of the formation of memories; improvement in a neuron's ability to transmit caused by repeated stimulations

retrieval cue

a clue, prompt, or hint that helps trigger recall of a given piece of information stored in long-term memory

encoding specificity principle

the idea that a retrieval cue can serve as an effective reminder when it helps re-create the specific way in which information was initially encoded

state-dependent retrieval

the tendency for information to be better recalled when the person is in the same state during encoding and retrieval

transfer-appropriate processing

the idea that memory is likely to transfer from one situation to another when the encoding context of the situations match

retrieval-induced forgetting

a process by which retrieving an item from long-term memory impairs subsequent recall of related items

explicit memory

intentional or conscious recollection of information

implicit memory

the unconscious use of memory

semantic memory

The part of explicit memory that stores general information such as names and facts.

episodic memory

memory of personal experiences

procedural memory

memory for how to do things, including motor skills and habits


Enhanced identification of objects or words


forgetting what occurs over time

Proactive interference

earlier learning impairs memory for later learning

Retroactive interference

later learning impairs memory for earlier learning


lapse in (or division of) attention that results in memory failure


failure to retrieve info "available" in memory

Memory misattribution

assigning a recollection or an idea to the wrong source

False recognition

feeling of familiarity about a person or event not encountered


tendency to incorporate misleading, external info into personal recollections


the influence of present knowledge, beliefs, or feelings on recollection of past experiences


intrusive recollection of events we want to forget

flashbulb memories

A clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event

consistency bias

the bias to reconstruct the past to fit the present

change bias

the tendency to exaggerate differences between what we feel or believe now and what we felt or believed in the past

prospective memory

remembering to do things in the future

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