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date: 23 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a brief overview of episodic memory, or the ability to consciously recall events from one’s personal past. The historical context of this concept is sketched, as well as its relationship to other kinds of memory. Defining characteristics are then outlined, including its role in consciousness and sense of self, the dynamics of encoding and retrieval, and the phenomena of amnesia, forgetting, and false memories. Recollection is described as being cue dependent, and it is argued that this principle can explain three major encoding factors that influence episodic retrieval (distinctiveness, depth, and organization). Finally, the major neural substrates are summarized, as well as the effects of development and aging. The chapter concludes with some far-reaching questions for future research.

Keywords: aging, amnesia, consciousness, development, event, encoding, false memory, recall, recollection, retrieval

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