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Interdependence of episodic and semantic memory: Evidence from neuropsychology


Tulving’s (1972) theory of memory draws a distinction between general knowledge (semantic memory) and memory for events (episodic memory). Neuropsychological studies have generally examined each type of memory in isolation, but theorists have long argued that these two forms of memory are interdependent. Here we review several lines of neuropsychological research that have explored the interdependence of episodic and semantic memory. The studies show that these forms of memory can affect each other both at encoding and at retrieval. We suggest that theories of memory should be revised to account for all of the interdependencies between episodic and semantic memory; they should also incorporate forms of memory that do not fit neatly into either category. (JINS, 2010, 16, 748–753.)

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*Correspondence and reprint requests to: Daniel L. Greenberg, Memory Disorders Research Center, 150 S. Huntington Avenue (151-A), Boston, Massachusetts 02130. E-mail:
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Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
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