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memory(mem'o-re) [L. memoria]
1. The mental registration, retention, and recollection of past experiences, sensations, or thoughts. This group of functions relies on the coordinated activities of the association regions of the cerebral cortex, specific sensory areas of the brain, subcortical centers, the hypothalamus, the midbrain, and a wide array of neurochemicals and neurotransmitters. Injury or damage to any of these regions of the brain (e.g., as a result of intoxication, stroke, atrophy, or infection) impairs the ability to incorporate new memories or recall and use earlier ones.
2. The capacity of the immune system to respond to antigens to which it has previously been exposed. Immunological memory depends on the activities of T and B lymphocytes, macrophages, major histocompatibility molecules, adhesion molecules, chemokines, and many other biochemicals.
anterograde memoryAnterograde amnesia.
The conscious recollection of learned information. It is a memory function that is improved by the association of learning with highly charged emotional experiences.Synonym: explicit memory
The ability to recall discrete events (e.g., in one's personal history).
explicit memoryDeclarative memory.
An inaccurate or incomplete remembrance of a past event. Memory accuracy, validity, and reliability are affected by the following factors: age; serious illness, injury, or psychological trauma; prolonged medication therapy or use of a substance of abuse; mental retardation; mental illness; anxiety; preoccupation; fatigue; guilt and fear of penalty; coercion; or incentive to testify falsely. These factors must be considered in the evaluation of the reliability of patient-reported memories.
Memory for events or information in the last few hours or days. Brain damage that limits one's ability to store new information may impair immediate memory but have no effect on memories of the distant past.Synonym: short-term memory See: digit span test
A state in which a person is unable to remember or recall bits of information or behavioral skills. Impaired memory may be attributed to pathophysiological or situational causes that are either temporary or permanent.
Recall that is preserved when the patient is given a cue to help retrieve information but deficient without such cues.Synonym: nondeclarative memory
The mental storage of information that occurs passively (i.e., without conscious effort).
Recall of experiences or of information acquired in the distant past.
It includes both explicit memory and procedural memory.
nondeclarative memoryImplicit memory.
The ability to recall how to perform activities or functions, e.g., how to brush one's teeth or ride a skateboard. This type of memory is often preserved when other memory functions are lost.See: declarative memory
A memory recalled after having been forgotten. Recall may be the result of psychotherapy or suggestion. Not all instances of recovered memory are accurate (some are the result of suggestion).See: false memory
Recollection of information that was stored in the distant past.
retrograde memoryRetrograde amnesia.
The recollection only of particular aspects of an event or experience; limited recall.
short-term memoryImmediate memory.
The momentary storage in the brain of images or sensations just felt, heard, seen, smelled, or tasted. Sensory memories typically last only a few seconds.
The ability to recall three-dimensional objects or places, e.g., the location of an object in space, the position of one object in relation to another, or the correct path through a maze.
1. The ability to recall the contours, design, shape, or structure of a previously experienced environment.
2. The ability to hold in the mind a map of a person, place, or thing.
The ability to store and use those facts and ideas necessary for performing immediate tasks.
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
Conscious recall of facts and events that is classified into episodic memory (involves time and place) and semantic memory (does not involve time and place). For example, an amnesiac may remember he has a wife (semantic memory), but cannot recall his last conversation with her (episodic memory).
Mentioned in: Amnesia
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.