Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Episodic Memory

  • Jonathan A. OlerEmail author
  • Rothem Kovner
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1122

Synonyms

Autobiographical memory; Declarative memory; Explicit memory; Relational memory

Definition

Episodic memory is a type of associative learning where relationships between stimuli (e.g., people, places and things) form an autobiographical register of events as they occur in time. Episodic memory is the kind of memory that allows us to recollect our own past and the experiences we have lived through. Episodic memory formation is one of the primary functions of the medial temporal lobe, which is why episodic memory is often referred to as a hippocampal-dependent memory function. Damage to the hippocampus, or the cerebral cortex surrounding it, results in a loss of episodic memory known as amnesia. Episodic memory should not be confused with semantic memory, which refers to the understanding of meanings and the recollection of factual information about the world. Semantic memory is context-independent knowledge and together with episodic memory makes up the two types of declarative...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA