From knowing to remembering: The semantic-episodic distinction

Louis Renoult, Muireann Irish, Morris Moscovitch, Michael D. Rugg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Citations (Scopus)
111 Downloads (Pure)


The distinction between episodic and semantic memory was proposed in 1972 by Endel Tulving and is still of central importance in Cognitive Neuroscience today. Data obtained in the last 30 years or so, however, support the idea that the frontiers between perception and knowledge and between episodic and semantic memory are not as clear cut as previously thought, prompting a rethinking of the episodic-semantic distinction. Here, we review recent research on episodic and semantic memory, highlighting similarities between the two systems. Taken together, current behavioral, neuropsychological and neuroimaging data are compatible with the idea that episodic and semantic memory are inextricably intertwined, yet retain a measure of distinctiveness, despite the fact that their neural correlates demonstrate considerable overlap.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1057
Number of pages17
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Issue number12
Early online date28 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

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