Book Definition:

Information that is not currently in consciousness but can be recalled to consciousness voluntarily or after something calls attention to them.

In Your Own Words

  • Events that lay in the background until called upon.
  • A memory or fact that is triggered by something grabbing its attention.
  • Information that you don't think about until someone or something reminds you of that information.
  • Information that is stored in the background of the mind and arises once a trigger or cue goes off that it's needed.
  • Can be brought into consciousness if attention is called to it.


  • Things that you can pull into your consciousness quickly such as...
    • Remembering the movie date you went on last weekend with your significant other when you see the trailer for it again.
    • Your birthday, friends, siblings, mom, dad, grandpa, grandma's birthdays as well.
    • You do an activity that makes you remember your childhood.
    • What you had for breakfast, lunch, or dinner last night.
    • Smell pumpkins and you remember your grandma's pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.
    • Pictures help you remember a family vacation.
    • You hear a certain song that reminds you of a special someone
    • You see a picture of someone who passed away, and you remember what their voice sounds like.
    • Your street address.
    • Your cell and home phone numbers, along with mom and dad's cell phone numbers.
    • When you go outside and see the ground ground covered in snow, walk into the room and smell gingerbread cooking, and see a pine tree you think of Christmas.
    • Remembering the date you and your boyfriend/girlfriend started dating
    • Taking a History class and remembering that The Great Depression occurred in the 1930's.
    • The special warm feeling you get every Christmas morning.
    • Remembering that Salem is the capital of Oregon.
    • Hearing something (ex. Cancer) and remembering an event (death of a relative, friend, etc.).
    • Remembering where you sit every class, if someone asked you.
    • The name of your girlfriend/boyfriend's parents.
    • You see your friend and suddenly remember that today is their birthday.
    • What you did to celebrate your birthday this year.
    • When one can remember simple math equations such as 2 + 2 because they have learned it before and retained the information in the preconscious. This is because the conscious state of mind can only be focusing on minimal things at a time, so when one needs to remember what 2 + 2 is, they can pull it out of a "file" in the preconscious.

Additional Resources

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