episodic memory

Quick Reference

A type of long-term memory for personal experiences and events, such as being stung by a bee many years ago, getting married a few months ago, reading a particular book yesterday, or having an egg for breakfast a few minutes ago. Such knowledge is characteristically stored as information about specific experiences and events occurring at particular times and places, and it affords a sense of personal continuity and familiarity with the past. It accounts for only a small proportion of human memory, most of our memories having no basis in personal experience. The concept was introduced in 1972 by the Estonian-born Canadian psychologist Endel Tulving (born 1927), who distinguished it from semantic memory and from procedural memory. See also autonoetic, episodic buffer, mental time travel. Compare episodic amnesia. [So called because it relates to episodes in one's life]

Subjects: Psychology.

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