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Recollecting, Recognizing, and Other Acts of Remembering: An Overview of Human Memory

LaVoie, Donna J. PhD; Cobia, Derin J. MS

Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy: September 2007 - Volume 31 - Issue 3 - pp 135-144
doi: 10.1097/NPT.0b013e31814a63e8

The question of whether memory is important to human existence is simple to answer: life without memory would be devoid of any meaning. The question of what memory is, however, is much more difficult to answer. The main purpose of this article is to provide an overview of memory function, by drawing distinctions between different memory systems, specifically declarative (ie, conscious) versus nondeclarative (ie, nonconscious) memory systems. To distinguish between these larger systems and their various components, we include discussion of deficits in memory that occur as a consequence of brain injury and normative aging processes. Included in these descriptions is discussion of the neuroanatomical correlates of each memory component described to illustrate the importance of particular brain regions to different aspects of memory function.

Psychology Department, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri

Address correspondence to: Donna J. LaVoie, E-mail:

© 2007 Neurology Section, APTA