Are semantic memory and episodic memory distinct systems?

Michael McCloskey, Jeffrey L. Santee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Discusses logical problems in a study by E. J. Shoben et al, who reported data concerning the semantic-episodic memory distinction proposed by E. Tulving (1962). The present article suggests that because of these problems their results do not provide strong evidence of a distinction between semantic and episodic memory systems. In addition, an experiment with 8 undergraduates is described. Results argue against the claim that the representation for semantic information is different from that for episodic information. It is suggested that the available data do not provide strong support for the view that semantic and episodic memory are distinct systems. (19 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-71
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1981
Externally publishedYes


  • semantically high vs low related episodic sentences, recognition RT, college students, evidence against claim by E. J. Shoben et al concerning semantic-episodic memory distinction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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