chapter
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Episodic memory

For present purposes, episodic memory retrieval is defined as the cognitive operations necessary to support the explicit (conscious) retrieval of information about recently experienced events and the spatial and temporal contexts in which they occurred. The majority of neuroimaging studies of episodic memory retrieval have been conducted within the “verbal learning” tradition, wherein to-be-remembered items (“study” items) are lists of preexperimentally familiar words. Most studies have employed memory tests that involve the presentation of cues that are in some way related to the studied items. One of the simplest and most popular tests is “yes/no” recognition memory, when entire items (“copy cues”) are presented, and the participants’ task is to judge whether each item was presented at study. Other tests employ less informative cues. For example, in word-stem cued recall the test items comprise the first three letters of a word (e.g. MOT-), and the task is to decide whether a word fitting the cue was presented at study.