long-term memory


Definition of long-term memory

: memory that involves the storage and recall of information over a long period of time (such as days, weeks, or years) In animal experiments and autopsies of human brains, researchers have found that the hippocampal formation—an inner-brain region consisting of the hippocampus and several other related structures—is critical for the formation of long-term memory.Science News abbreviation LTM — compare short-term memory, working memory

Examples of long-term memory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Studies have also shown that manta rays are able to create mental maps of their environment, through smell and visual cues, indicating highly developed long-term memory. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 26 Aug. 2019 Short-term memories last seconds to hours, while long-term memories last for years. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Human memory: How we make, remember, and forget memories," 4 Mar. 2019 The cerebral cortex, which in humans is responsible for higher brain functions such as speech, perception, long-term memory and judgment, is the outer layer of the brain. Linda Carroll, NBC News, "Gene mutation in the brain may be early clue to autism, study suggests," 2 July 2019 That is in line with other experiments that have suggested that blocking the formation of such tags blocks the formation of long-term memory in snails and some rodents, said Dr. Glanzman. Veronique Greenwood, New York Times, "Scientists Made Snails Remember Something That Never Happened to Them," 15 May 2018 Their work concerned the brain changes involved in the transformation of short-term memories to long-term memories. Quanta Magazine, "Light-Triggered Genes Reveal the Hidden Workings of Memory," 14 Dec. 2017 Researchers originally identified ripples in the hippocampus, a region crucially involved in memory and navigation, as central to diverting recollections to long-term memory during sleep. Simon Makin, Scientific American, "Better Memory Through Electrical Brain Ripples," 14 June 2019 This is also when long-term memory becomes more compromised, so a person with this level of Alzheimer’s may begin to forget who their loved ones are or get them confused with each other. Korin Miller, SELF, "10 Facts About Alzheimer's Disease You Should Know," 28 Sep. 2018 Defense attorneys argued that Majors showed signs of dementia and had problems with his long-term memory, but a mental competency examination showed Majors was able to stand trial. Adam Kealoha Causey, Fox News, "Oklahoma man convicted in hate-crime killing dies in prison," 13 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'long-term memory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of long-term memory

1940, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

31 Aug 2019

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The first known use of long-term memory was in 1940

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long-term memory


Medical Definition of long-term memory

: memory that involves the storage and recall of information over a long period of time (as days, weeks, or years) A short-term memory's conversion to a long-term memory requires changes within the brain that protect the memory from interference from competing stimuli or disruption from injury or disease.— Alison Preston, Scientific American, December 2007 But the mystery remains: how do cells in the cortex physically lay down long-term memories?— Sandra Blakeslee, The New York Times, 14 Nov. 2000 abbreviation LTM — compare short-term memory

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