Types of memory

Learn what long- and short-term memory are — and everything in between.

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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.

  1. Long-term Memory
    Long-term memory is our brain’s system for storing, managing, and retrieving information. Learn more about it.
  2. 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. Learn more about it.

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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”!
  • Memory & Morpheus: Researchers have come to believe slumber actively helps our brains consolidate what we learn and remember. Can sleep hurt or help memory?

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. 

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