Semantic memory refers to the memory of meanings, understandings, and other concept-based knowledge, and underlies the conscious recollection of factual information and general knowledge about the world. Semantic and episodic memory together make up the category of declarative memory, which is one of the two major divisions in memory. With the use of our semantic memory we can give meaning to otherwise meaningless words and sentences. We can learn about new concepts by applying our knowledge learned from things in the past. The counterpart to declarative, or explicit memory, is procedural memory, or implicit memory.
Semantic memory includes generalized knowledge that does not involve memory of a specific event. For instance, people can answer questions like "Are wrenches pets or tools?" without remembering any specific event in which they learned that wrenches are tools.
Famous quotes containing the words semantic and/or memory:
“Watts need of semantic succour was at times so great that he would set to trying names on things, and on himself, almost as a woman hats.”
—Samuel Beckett (19061989)
“With a tongue like a razor he will kiss,
the mother, the child,
and we three will color the stars black
in memory of his mother
who kept him chained to the food tree
or turned him on and off like a water faucet....”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)