Memory is a vital determinant of what we know, learn, and practice. Now, there are multifarious events that happen with us and around us. In some, we learn new things, while in others, we perform activities that we once learned. How then can we spot the differences between these? PsycholoGenie strives to enlist the difference between declarative and nondeclarative memory, which would solve the dilemma mentioned above.
What strikes the difference?
Procedural memory can be altered over time. Skills can be honed and could be made better, unlike explicit memory that contains facts and figures, which can’t be altered.
Ever wondered why some things that you learn in your childhood are still fresh in your mind, and it takes no effort in replicating them even after decades of gap? While in case of others, you need to learn and memorize them. Well, in this case, you would have to know the subtleties that make the differences between these two different scenarios. The former is attributed to nondeclarative memory, and the latter represents declarative memory.
So, how to evaluate the evidence for the separation of declarative memory and nondeclarative memory? Well, in the trailing sections of this article, we shall compare and contrast the features and characteristics of these two types of memory, and jot down the difference between declarative and nondeclarative memory in detail.
Both declarative and nondeclarative memories originate from the long-term part of the memory. Long-term memory is that part of the memory that can store incidents for an infinite duration of time. Thus, both declarative and nondeclarative memories are able to store information for a long duration. They are both capable of storing memories of events that occurred a few minutes before, a few hours ago, or even decades ago.
Declarative Memory Vs. Nondeclarative Memory
|This section of the human mind is a part of the long-term memory where the mind stores facts, data, knowledge, and information intentionally. Therefore, it is also known as the fact memory andexplicit memory. This means that the mind has been conditioned consciously so that it can recall things. It takes efforts on the part of a person to learn and store information.||This section of the human mind is also a part of the long-term memory, which stores or learns things without consciously putting in effort. The process is unintentional, and the person can perform actions at any given time, without actually trying to recall the activity. This memory learns skills automatically without the knowledge of the individual, hence being also known as implicit memory.|
|Example: One’s knowledge about common things like facts and data.||Example: One’s skills of riding, driving, swimming, etc.|
Explicit or declarative memory, as its name suggests, declares the events as they are. It helps us to narrate the event or a particular piece of information without altering any of it. This type of memory is also subdivided into two distinct categories. They are known as semantic memory and episodic memory.
Implicit memory or nondeclarative memory has the inherent ability to recall events and information without requiring the conscious effort to remember them. Therefore, both conscious and intentional efforts are ruled out. The person is able to perform the action, without declaring the information pertaining to it. It is again subdivided into two, viz., procedural memory and priming.
Explicit Memory Vs. Implicit Memory
|Semantic memory consists of those ideas, events, and information that are not related to the personal knowledge or incident of a person. It comprises the general information that the person learns and accumulates in his memory. It also enlists things that the person knows owing to his common sense. This term was first introduced by Endel Tulving. The structure and function of semantic memories is such that it organizes the information observed from the external world, and structures the information. It is traced from the episodic memory. In essence, episodic memory supports semantic memory.||Procedural memory, a term coined by Cohen and Squire, is that part of the long-term memory that helps us to perform tasks that we have already learned before, and can perform them at any given time without thinking about them consciously. It helps us to perform tasks easily without having to try hard at remembering the exact steps of how exactly it is to be done. The steps are almost etched in our minds, and the actions can be performed spontaneously. One fascinating point to note here is that this memory doesn’t get erased if there is an injury caused to the brain, unlike explicit memory.|
|The semantic memory affects the frontal lobe of the brain, which is located in the front area of the head, just at the back of the face. It is also known as the frontal cortex. It also affects the temporal lobe of the brain, which is placed on the side and rear of the frontal cortex. This means that the encoding process takes place in these areas in the semantic memory.||Procedural memory doesn’t encode in the hippocampus. The encoding process takes place in other parts of the brain like the putamen, caudate nucleus, cerebellum, and the motor cortex. Skills that are acquired or learned are stored in the putamen. Instincts are stored in the caudate nucleus, and the cerebellum takes care of the timing and coordination.|
|Example: One’s knowledge about definitions, mathematical tables, formulas, poems, etc.||Example: One’s knowledge about performing marshal arts, dancing, playing an instrument, etc.|
|Episodic memory, a term coined by Endel Tulving, represents the memory of events, happenings, and experiences in a serial order. This means that the mind is able to list the events in the order of their occurrences. It stores information about the personal accounts of people. It serves as an autobiographical record of the events that took place in one’s life. The episodes of memories it chooses to register depends on the importance of the event that is taking place. Episodic memory is able to recall and reconstruct the events in the exact manner in which they took place originally.||Priming is that kind of implicit memory that deals with stimulus and response in an individual. The human mind contains some information that is registered permanently in his mind. So, when he gets a stimulus which has same response as that of some other stimulus, the human mind tends to give a response for that other stimulus. There are various types of priming. They are positive and negative priming, perceptual and conceptual. So, on the whole, when a person is able to produce a different response after experiencing a different stimuli, it is known as priming.|
|The episodic memory carries on the encoding process in the hippocampus. It is primarily vital in shaping memories. This helps in connecting the events to the senses such as sound or smell, thereby, constructing a memory or an episode. The shape of the hippocampus is like a horseshoe, and it is spread on both the right and the left hemispheres of the brain.||The associations that are formed between the stimuli and the responses take place automatically. It doesn’t require conscious practice or memorization. The brain receives half the data from the stimulus and generates a response that it probably generates for a different stimulus. So, the brain draws the similarities between the stimuli and gives a response.|
|Example: » One’s knowledge about the family vacation he attended ten years ago.
» One’s knowledge about his best friend in his kindergarten days.
|Example: One’s tendency to associate red with rose more than with apple is because of priming.|
So, from the aforementioned definitions and examples we got to know the differences in these two types of long-term memory. We could also infer from the above information about the types of events that get rendered in either of these types of memory. So, memories are not only related to the heart and the emotions emoted by it, but also the nature of the events that decide in which part of the brain it gets stored so that it eventually becomes a memory.