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 That day at the theater, on the other hand, will likely be coded by their hippocampus as a long-term memory. Elissa Strauss, CNN, "Q: Am I a bad parent if I sacrifice holiday cheer for the environment?," 18 Dec. 2019 There are three main memory structures: sensory, working, and long-term memory. Amina Youssef-shalala, Quartz, "Three ways to trick your memory into working better," 12 Oct. 2019 Scientists aren’t sure exactly why that is, but one theory is that high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can occur with depression, is toxic to the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is critical for storing long-term memories. Andrea Petersen, New York Times, "New Therapies Help Patients With Dementia Cope With Depression," 8 Dec. 2019 Domoic acid damages the hippocampus, which is associated with short-term and long-term memory. Justin Phillips, SFChronicle.com, "The secret Richmond lab where Bay Area crab season annually learns its fate," 28 Nov. 2019 He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease 18 months ago, and while his long-term memory is still fairly good, his short-term memory and ability to perform basic functions is not. Alexa Philippou, courant.com, "Former UConn player Kara Wolters finds her voice as Alzheimer’s advocate in support of her father," 21 Sep. 2019 However, not all long-term memories necessarily have to start as short-term memories. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Human memory: How we make, remember, and forget memories," 4 Mar. 2019 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

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

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Cite this Entry

“Long-term memory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/long-term%20memory. Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for long-term memory

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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