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Episodic Memory

  1. Mark E. Wheeler1,
  2. David A. Gallo2

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0315

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Wheeler, M. E. and Gallo, D. A. 2010. Episodic Memory. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Pittsburgh

  2. 2

    University of Chicago

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


When we think back to a past experience, such as a childhood birthday party, we can bring to mind faces of people in attendance, the appearance and location of the event, the sounds of voices or music, and our mood and thoughts. This contextually rich form of retrieval is the basis for episodic memory. As defined by Endel Tulving (1983), an episodic memory contains three critical elements that delineate it from other forms of memory. The first is that the memories are embedded in a spatiotemporal context in which some aspects of the location and timing of the event are available to consciousness. The second is that they are personal memories associated with a distinct impression of self-involvement. The third is that they are accompanied by a subjective awareness of remembering in which sights, sounds, and other experiences are replayed in the present moment.


  • episodic memory;
  • associative binding;
  • source monitoring;
  • reconstructive memory;
  • medial temporal lobes