Doubts about double dissociations between short- and long-term memory

Charan Ranganath, Robert S. Blumenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

255 Scopus citations


Historically, psychologists and neuroscientists have distinguished between processes supporting memory for events across retention delays of several seconds (short-term memory, STM), and those supporting memory for events across longer retention delays of minutes or more (long-term memory, LTM). Dissociations reported in some neuropsychological studies have contributed to a popular view that there must be neurally distinct memory stores that differentially support STM and LTM. In this article, we review evidence from recent studies regarding dissociations between STM and LTM. We suggest that the evidence reveals problems with claims of selective STM or LTM impairments, which in turn questions whether theories of memory need to propose neurally distinct stores for short- and long-term retention. We consider alternative ways to explain the neural mechanisms of memory across different retention intervals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-380
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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