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borrowed from Lyons


the persistence of learning over time through the storage and retrieval of information

flashbulb memory

a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event


the processing of information into the memory system


the retention of encoded information over time


the process of getting information out of memory storage

sensory memory

the immediate very brief recording of sensory information in the memory system

short term memory

activated memory that holds a few items briefly, before information is stored or forgotten

long term memory

the relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of the memory system.

working memory

a newer understanding of short term memory that involves conscious, active processing in incoming information and of information retrieved from long term memory

automatic processing

unconscious encoding of incidental information, such as space, time, and frequency of well learned information such as word meanings

effortful processing

encoding that requires attention and conscious effort


the conscious repetition of information

spacing effect

the tendency for distributed study to yield better long term retention

serial position effect

our tendency to recall best the last and first things in a list

visual encoding

the encoding of picture images

acoustic encoding

the encoding of sound, especially the sound of words

semantic encoding

the encoding of meaning including the meaning of words


mental pictures; a powerful aid to effortful processing


memory aids; using imagery or organizational devices


organizing items into familiar, manageable units

iconic memory

a momentary sensory memory of visual stimuli

echoic memory

a momentary sensory memory of auditory stimuli

long-term potentiation

an increase in a synapse's firing potential after brief, rapid stimulation


the loss of memory

implicit memory

retention independent of conscious recollection

explicit memory

memory of facts and experiences that one can consciously know and "declare"


helps process explicit memories for storage


a measure of memory in which the person must retrieve information learned earlier


a measure of memory in which the person need only identify items previously learned


a memory measure that assesses the amount of time saved when learning material for a second time


the activation, often unconsciously, of partcular associations in memory

deja vu

that eerie sense that "I've experienced this before"

mood-congruent memory

the tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with one's current good or bad mood

method of loci

a mnemonic with which one associates items to be remembered with a specific location (see also key word, peg word)

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