Memory encoding and retrieval strategies were assessed in patients with behavior-executive variant frontotemporal dementia (FTD), language variant FTD, and Alzheimer's disease (AD) using verbal and visuospatial supraspan learning tests. FTD patients obtained higher free recall, cued recall, and recognition scores than AD patients. Comparison of free recall scores with cued recall and recognition scores was similar in the 3 dementia groups. Groups did not differ in semantic clustering strategies during learning, but serial-order recall was more common in FTD patients. These data do not support the idea that FTD patients' poor memory is due to a selective retrieval disorder, though FTD patients may fail to implement sophisticated organizational strategies during learning. FTD patients' retained capacity for encoding new information into long-term declarative memory is likely due to relatively spared medial temporal lobe involvement.