Remote memory typically refers to memory for the distant past, measured on the order of years or even decades. It encompasses episodic memory (autobiographical recollections), personal semantic memory (factual knowledge of one’s past), and general semantic memory (knowledge of historical people and events). By convention, neuropsychologists typically conceive of remote memory as memory for learning that took place outside of the laboratory or clinic. Many lay people mistakenly label this type of memory as long-term memory. During the clinical interview, patients may state that their long-term memory is good, meaning that they can remember events from their childhood or early adult life. They often complain of difficulties with short-term memory, as evidenced, for example, by a failure to recall what they had for dinner the previous night. This incorrect usage of the terms long-term and short-term memory in common parlance actually represents the distinction between remote...
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