Types of Memory

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.

Memory Types

There are two major categories of memory: long-term memory and short-term memory. To learn more, choose from the options below.

Long-Term MemoryLong-Term Memory
Long-term memory is our brain's system for storing, managing, and retrieving information. Learn more about it.
Short-Term MemoryShort-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 MemoryExplicit 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 MemoryImplicit 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 MemoryAutobiographical Memory
Most of us have one part of life that we remember better than others. Find out if you have a "memory bump"! 
Explicit MemoryMemory & Morpheus
Researchers have come to believe slumber actively helps our brains consolidate what we learn and remember. Can sleep hurt or help memory?

If you would like to improve your memory, try BrainHQ. A large study conducted by scientists at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Southern California showed that using BrainHQ exercises improved memory by an average of 10+ years. Four of the 20 BrainHQ exercises are free; you can use them as often as you like for as long as you like at no cost to you. The other exercises are available for a monthly subscription.