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Semantic Memory

Semantic Memory is the accumulation of facts and experience gained over a lifetime.

Listen to the following scenario that illustrates an everyday example of semantic memory in action. Click the audio icon when ready.

Play Audio  Transcript Recording of a game show question.
<a href="../pages/semantic.wma">Download movie</a>

Recording of a game show question

H is the Host.
C is the Contestant.

H. OK. Here we, yeh. Green. Category: Geography for your favourite.

H. Question. What is the world's largest ocean?

C. Ummm, Don't tell me, I know tell this.

H: I'm not telling you. This is the game!

C. Ummm. I hate it when I can't remember these things.

H. Arrr, this is painful Marilyn.

C. Pacific.

H. Specific or Pacific?

C. Pacific.

H. Pacific, urrr, yep, that's good.

Examples of Semantic Memory

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In what city is the Eiffel tower located?

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Is this animal diurnal or nocturnal?

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What does this symbol indicate?

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What is X?

Did you know?
Semantic memory is used for remembering everyday types of facts and information. Semantic memory is also called knowledge. Unlike other forms of memory, you usually do not remember where or when you learned the information in semantic memory. For example, you may have known that Paris is the capital of France, but you may not have known where or when you learned that.

Effects of aging on Semantic Memory
Semantic memory is related to experience. As people grow older, semantic memory typically remains stable or even improves. To keep your semantic memory active, there are some simple (and fun) things you can do, like reading, crosswords and puzzles. The more the merrier. Exercise that brain! Playing trivia games with friends and family.

Tips to maintain or even improve your Semantic Memory
Do things that are enjoyable to you such as:

  • Reading
  • Crosswords
  • Puzzles

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