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4 Tutorials that teach Long-term Memory
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Long-term Memory

Long-term Memory

Description:

This lesson will examine long-term memory and classify its subtypes.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

This lesson is going to cover long-term memory by looking at:

  1. Long-Term Memory
  2. Types of Long-Term Memory

1. Long-Term Memory

Long-term memory is a system of memory that allows information to be filed and stored away for later retrieval and use. This memory storage is seemingly limitless. A person doesn’t need to forget old information to remember something new.

Term to Know

  • Long-Term Memory
  • The system of memory that allows information to be filed or stored away for later retrieval and use.

In the long-term memory, information is stored according to its meaning because information encoded with meaning is stored better. Humans don’t tend to remember things in lists. Information isn’t memorized without any kind of context to it.

Instead, people put information into categories grouped by similarities, differences, images, or symbols. This helps a person to place information together and to connect it in their mind so that it makes sense. This concept plays a role in cognitive theories of psychology and the creation of schema. Schema are mental constructs that organize information together.

These long-term memories are considered to be relatively permanent. Unless something interferes with the information or it's badly encoded to begin with, it will be remembered essentially for the rest of a person’s life.

Long-term memory is normally outside of consciousness. A person doesn’t remember all of their memories at all times. If information in long-term memory is needed, it is retrieved or brought conscious by memory to be used.


2. Types of Long-Term Memory

There are different types of long-term memory storage that a brain uses. The first is procedural memory. It pertains to how to do certain things.

ExampleProcedural memory includes things like riding a bike, driving, tying shoes, cooking a meal, or any of these kinds of things.

Term to Know

  • Procedural Memory
  • Long-term memory of actions and skills, or how to do certain things.

Procedural memory is more implicit, and is a conditioned response. It is related especially to the hindbrain. This is the section of our brain that includes cerebellum; it is a more basic part of the brain, and at the core.

Did You Know

In cases of amnesia where people forget information like who they are, who their spouse or children are, or even their childhood memories, the person oftentimes will still retain their procedural memory. They will still be able to perform certain kinds of practiced actions that they learned throughout their lives. They haven't lost all of their memory, just more of their declarative memory.

Declarative memory is the opposite of procedural memory. This is the long-term memory of more explicit and factual information like words, numbers, or symbols. Declarative memory comes in two forms:

  • Semantic memory-any kind of fact-based memory that's impersonal and detached. It isn’t directly related to the person, and is more knowledge of the world around us.
  • Episodic memory-personal information of specific events, experiences, or different episodes in our lives. The episodic memory would include things like your fifth birthday, your first kiss, the birth of your child, or your marriage.

Terms to Know

  • Declarative Memory
  • Long-term memory of more explicit, factual information, like words, numbers, and symbols.
  • Semantic memory
  • Fact-based, impersonal knowledge of the world.
  • Episodic memory
  • Personal memory of specific events and experiences.

Summary

Long-term memory is a system of memory that allows information to be filed and stored away for later retrieval and use. The storage space is seemingly limitless and relatively permanent. Information is stored and tied with meaning. 

There are two types of long-term memory. Procedural memory is memory of action or skills, while declarative memory is the opposite. It comes in two forms: semantic and episodic. Semantic memory pertains to information that is impersonal (e.g., like scientific facts), and episodic memory involves information related to an individual personally.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: This work is adapted from Sophia author Erick Taggart.

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Long-Term Memory

    The system of memory that allows information to be filed or stored away for later retrieval and use.

  • Procedural Memory

    Long-term memory of actions and skills, or how to do certain things.

  • Declarative Memory

    Long-term memory of more explicit, factual information, like words, numbers, and symbols.

  • Semantic memory

    Fact-based, impersonal knowledge of the world.

  • Episodic memory

    Personal memory of specific events and experiences.