Long Term Memory Exam Revision.


  • Understand the relevant distinctions in the memory system giving evidence where appropriate
  • Show how evidence gathered from amnesics can lead to an understanding of various components of memory, i.e. showing an appreciation that memory is NOT a unitary structure
  • Understand the implicit/explicit memory distinction



1. How has the study of healthy individuals and people with brain damage helped in the understanding of the structure of human memory? Your answer needs to provide experimental evidence.

2. Is human memory unitary? Use evidence from the study of both individuals with amnesia and healthy controls to illustrate your answer.

3. Is human memory one function or many?  Support your answer with evidence from studies on both brain-damaged patients and healthy controls

4. There are various functional components to human long-term memory – describe and discuss the evidence.








‘Last Word’ programme with a section on Suzanne Corkin, who studied famous amnesic patient ‘HM’

Documentary about Clive Wearing who has amnesia



  1. how does Parkin (2002) define amnesia? p2 
  2. what operation was performed on HM in 1953? p3 
  3. define procedural vs declarative memory, philosophical definition – Ryle (1949) p5 
  4. what test to Corkin (1968) use to test procedural learning? p6
  5. define retrograde & anterograde amnesia p7
  6. define semantic vs episodic memory, Tulving (1972) p9
  7. what therefore did he say amnesia was? p.9
  8. what is the semanticisation of memory all about & who’s a key proponent? p12
  9. define explicit vs implicit memory (episodes!) p13&15 
  10. describe Verfaellie’s et al (1991) implicit/explicit recall experiment p.13 
  11. describe a typical repetition priming experiment p14
  12. what type of memory representations does repetition priming test? p15 
  13. name 3 explicit memory tasks 

Most answers in LTM notes here



Is human memory one function or many?  Support your answer with evidence from studies on both brain-damaged patients and healthy controls


This is a plan for the above question, which I had in an exam earlier this year: got a distinction!

(a) I pulled out relevant studies from my notes, which were based on my reading

(b) Conceived a structure (chronological developments, paradigms, counter arguments)

(c) Created the shorthand summary below to memorise the essay



Define memory

research for some while assumes basic split bet LTM & STM

further split into non-declarative, declarative, episodic, semantic, procedural, implicit, explicit

evidence comes from healthy and brain-damaged subjects


[multiple systems but some disagreement

– e.g. Squire (2007) vs Schacter & Tulving’s (2000) memory models

– e.g. Schacter & Tulving split semantic & episodic but Squire has a single decl system

but vaguely agree about the following x,y,z and we’ll look at evidence for each]

first key distinction STM & LTM

Murdoch (1962) – primacy & latency

[modal model – briefly describe it – supported up to this point]

Wickelgren (1968) – case of HM – digit probe & digit span normal

Shallice & Warrington, 1970 – case of KF

[modal model not supported at this point as bad STM shouldn’t allow info into LTM if it’s the gateway]

[Working Memory model OK as it breaks up into different components]

double dissociation

short term stores: AL & VSSP

Basso et al 1982 – patient PV – 2 digit but normal spatial on corsi

Hanley et al 1991 – patient ELD – reverse

further breakdown into declarative & non-declarative

define declarative & non-declarative

e.g. Corkin (1968) – HM evidence – mirror drawing & target tracking :-

                                amnesics can’t recall learning these skills, so declarative impaired

Schott et al (2006) – imaging – normal Ss – learning & retrieval

Spiers et al (2001) – review 147 anterograde amnesic patients

 breakdown of declarative into semantic & episodic – Tulving (1972) – amnesia is…adding

define semantic and episodic

Spiers et al (2001) – 147 anterograde again – all cases normal pattern

Kapur (1999) – retrograde – dissociation

Gabrielli et al (1998) – questioned split HM – if both impaired then no split – not sharp

[Cermak (1984) – shift from E to S over time – semanticisation of memory ]

BUT Spiers study compelling

AND Verfaellie (2000) – patient PS – specific bilateral hippocampal damage

Do Interim summary

further dimension of explicit & implicit memory processes (rather than stores)

define explicit and implicit memory

Verfaellie et al (1991) – TR & GSR – typical pattern

Gabrielli et al (1995) – MS – right occipital lobe removed – opposite pattern

Jonides et al (2008) – unitary store model – STM is temporary activations of LTM representations created recently or in the past

BUT relatively recent research and so not much evidence vs multistore models