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Explicit memory

Memory that clearly and distinctly expresses specific information

Implicit memory

Memory that is suggested/implied, but not plainly expressed, as illustrated in things that people do but don't state clearly

Episodic memory

Memories of events experienced by a person or that take place in the person's presence

Semantic memory

General knowledge, as opposed to episodic memory


The activation of specific associations in memory, often as a result of repetition and without making a conscious effort to access the memory

Retroresponsive memory

Memory for past events, activities, and learning experiences, as shown by explicit (episodic and semantic) and implicit memories

Prospective memory

Memory to perform an act in the future, as at a certain time or when a certain event occurs


Modifying information so that it can be placed in memory. The first stage is information processing

Visual code

Mental representation of information as a picture

Acoustic code

Mental representation of information as acoustic sound

Semantic meaning

Mental representation of information according to its meaning


The maintenance of information over time. The second stage in information processing

Maintenance rehearsal

Mental repetition to keep it in memory


Self-awareness of the ways in which memory functions, allowing the person to encode, store, and retrieve information effectively

Elaborative memory

The kind of coding in which new information is related to information that is already known


The location of stored information and its return to consciousness. The third stage of information processing

Saccadic eye movement

The rapid eye movements that the eyes make as they focus on different points

Sensory memory

The first stage of memory that occurs as one encounters a stimulus. Holds impressions briefly, but long enough so that series of perceptions are psychologically continuous

Memory trace

An assumed change in the nervous system the reflects the impression made by a stimulus

Sensory register

A system of memory that holds information briefly, but long enough so that it can be processed further


A mental representation of a visual stimulus that is held briefly in sensory memory

Iconic memory

The sensory register that briefly holds mental representations of visual stimuli

Eidetic memory

The maintenance of detailed visual memories over several minutes


A mental representation of an auditory stimulus (sound) that is held briefly in sensory memory

Short-term memory

The type or stage of memory that can hold information for up to a minute or so after the trace of stimulus decays. Also called working memory, 7+or-2 is the limit, within 7 minutes someone can remember something, past that point they usually can't remember it unless they put it into their long-term memory

Serial-position effect

The tendency to recall more accurately the first and last items in a series


A stimulus or group of stimuli that are perceived as a discrete piece of information


Mechanical associative learning that is based on repetition


In memory theory, to cause information to be lost from short-term memory by adding new information

Long-term memory

The type or stage of memory capable of relatively permanent storage


In Freud's psychodynamic theory, the ejection of anxiety-evoking ideas from conscious awareness


A way of mentally representing the world, such as a belief or an expectation, that can influence perception of persons, objects and situations

Long-term memory

Often reconstructed, no known limit for amount of information stored in long-term memory

Tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) phenomenon

The feeling that information is stored in memory although it cannot be readily retrieved, also known as feeling-of-knowing experience

Context-dependent memory

Memory that is more easily retrieved when in the context or setting in which said memory was encoded and stored, or learned

State-dependent memory

Memory that is more easily retrieved when in the physiological or emotional state in which it was encoded and stored, or learned


Knowing what you're supposed to do in a certain situation through memory; e.g. going to a restaurant and knowing that you are supposed to sit down, look at the menu, order, etc.

Flashbulb memories

Tend to remember events that are important and emotionally stirring

Effectiveness of Memory

Semantic - deep, Visual - shallow, Acoustic - shallow

Déjà vu

Doing something that is similar to something that you did in the past

Nonsense syllables (Ebbinghaus)

Depend on acoustic coding and maintenance rehearsal, CVC strings (consonant, vowel, consonant)


E.g. multiple choice


You have to come up with the answers without any hints

Method of Savings

A measure of retention in which the difference between the number of repetitions originally required to learn a list and the number of repetitions required to relearn the list after a certain amount of time has elapsed is calculated

Interference Theory

The theory that we may forget stored material because other learning interferes with it

Retroactive Interference

New learning interferes with the retrieval of old learning, new to old

Proactive Interference

Older learning interferes with the capacity to retrieve more recently learned material, old to new

Infantile Amnesia

Cognitive explanations: No interest in remembering the past, Specific episodes versus networks of memories, Unreliable use of symbolic language

Anterograde amnesia

Inability to remember new information (more common)

Retrograde amnesia

Inability to remember old information (less common)

Long-term potentiation

Enhanced efficiency in synaptic transmission following a period of brief, rapid stimulation

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