Memory actually takes many different forms. We know that when we store a memory, we are storing information. But, what that information is and how long we retain it determines what type of memory it is. The biggest categories of memory are short-term memory (or working memory) and long-term memory, based on the amount of time the memory is stored. Both can weaken due to age, or a variety of other reasons and clinical conditions that affect memory.
There are two major categories of memory: long-term memory and short-term memory. To learn more, choose from the options below.
- Long-Term Memory
Long-term memory is our brain's system for storing, managing, and retrieving information. Learn more about it.
- Short-Term Memory
Closely related to "working" memory, short-term memory is the very short time that you keep something in mind before either dismissing it or transferring it to long-term memory.
Types of Long-Term Memory
As you would imagine, long-term memories are much more complex than short-term ones. We store different types of information (procedures, life experiences, language, etc.) with separate memory systems.
- Explicit Memory
Explicit memory, or declarative memory, is a type of long-term memory requiring conscious thought. It's what most people have in mind when they think of a memory.
- Implicit Memory
Implicit memory is a major form of long-term memory that does not require conscious thought. It allows you to do things by rote.
- Autobiographical Memory
Most of us have one part of life that we remember better than others. Find out if you have a "memory bump"!