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Clinical applications of research on prospective memory

14 December 1998


Prospective memory is memory for the future. Retrospective memory is memory
for the past. Recently, evidence has mounted that indicates that these two memory systems are unique and distinct from each other. The notion that prospective and retrospective memory systems are distinct has yet to reach mainstream clinical practice. The primary purpose of this work is to review the research on prospective memory and present it in a manner that can be easily understood and utilized by clinicians. The factors that affect prospective memory performance are reviewed and presented, in clinical language, along two primary dimensions: exogenous and endogenous. These dimensions are further divided along logical dimensions based on the content of the literature. The work concludes with some theoretical applications of the research findings that can be used to improve prospective memory performance.


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