John Libbey Eurotext

Revue de neuropsychologie


Endel Tulving's ideas of declarative memory and their consequences today Volume 3, issue 2, Juin 2011


See all figures

Inserm – EPHE – Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, Unité 923, GIP Cyceron, CHU Côte de Nacre, Caen

Endel Tulving is the father of the concept of episodic memory and is more interested in this memory system than declarative memory, which corresponds, according to him, to not one but two memory systems: episodic memory and semantic memory. Throughout his work, episodic memory has been put into perspective with one or more of the other systems and its definition has become more and more precise, incorporating a subjective dimension. Being at the pinnacle of the evolutionary continuum for its inventor, episodic memory is considered as a “marvel of nature ”. This article describes the evolution of Endel Tulving's ideas from 1972 to the present day. It then discusses the MNESIS model [29] that proposes a more integrated conception and emphasizes relationships between the different memory systems.