Structure of Long Term Memory


Long Term Memory falls into two categories; declarative and procedural, and three types within these (there are many more, but these will be our main focus).

Declarative Memory

Declarative memory is declarable - it's consciously available, and they're able to be described. There are two types:

  • Episodic: Something you 'remember' - an actual experience (vivid memories from our past, easy to recall, ready to retell, sights, sounds, smell)
    • E.g. bus crashes, first time seeing snow
  • Semantic: Something you 'know' - factual information that you've learnt, stored and encoded (probably no vivid memory of how you came to know it). 'Pub trivia' memory.
    • E.g. Tokyo is the capital of Japan
    • E.g. More than 10 people are killed by vending machines each year
    • E.g. Hippopotamus milk is pink
    • E.g. A donkey will sink in quicksand but a mule will not

Procedural Memory

Procedural memory is not consciously available. It's something you 'do' - an action you've learnt to do that is now essentially muscle memory for your brain. (Doesn't feel like remembering it, but the past is affecting your present behaviour - had to learn it once but don't really remember doing so. Can't really explain how to do x, but can do it).
* E.g. signing your name
* E.g. ability to send text messages