Friday 10 March 2017

What are the types of "Long-Term Memory"?

Declarative Long-Term Memory & Non-declarative Long-Term Memory

Types of Long-Term Memory
It refers to the knowledge that we have in our muscles or may be in some unconscious part of our nervous systems. It includes information relating to things like riding a bicycle, hitting long drives in golf, or even our thoughtless responses to things that frighten or excite us. These kinds of memories are labeled non-declarative memory (also called implicit memory), simply because they cannot be put into words.

But we also have many stable memories that we can put into words—memories having to do with our names, our addresses, the meanings of words, the colors of our cars, and so on. These memories make up what is termed declarative memory (also called explicit memory).

Declarative Memory:

It is explicit, conscious long-term memory in contrast with implicit (non-declarative memory). Declarative memory can be either semantic or episodic. It is also termed as explicit memory.

Non-declarative Memory:

It refers to unconscious, non-verbalizable effects of experience such as might be manifested in acquired motor skills or classical conditioning. It is also termed as implicit or procedural memory.

 Difference between Implicit Memory and Explicit Memory:

The principle difference between declarative and non-declarative memory is that declarative memory is conscious memory for facts and events; whereas non-declarative memory is unconscious memory.

The discovery that these are two distinct types of memory is one of the important recent achievements of the cognitive sciences, says Eichenbaum (1997).

"Semantic Memory" versus "Episodic Memory":

Declarative memory consists of at least two distinct types of memories. Abstract general knowledge about the world, such as what children learn in school, for example, makes up what is called semantic memory.

Each of us also has a large store of very personal recollections about the things we have done and thought, the experiences we have had, and so on. This autobiographical knowledge consists of all of the episodes of our lives and defines what is meant by episodic memory.

Semantic Memory:

It is a type of declarative (conscious, long-term) memory consisting of stable knowledge about the world, principles, rules, and procedures and other verbalizable effects of knowledge, including language.

Episodic Memory:

It is a type of declarative, autobiographical (conscious, long-term) memory consisting of knowledge about personal experiences, tied to specific times and places.

To summarize, there are two different kinds of long-term memories: those that are implicit, unconscious, and not easily verbalized (non-declarative) and those that are explicit, conscious, and can be put into words (declarative). Declarative memories might be abstract and general (semantic) or more personal and autobiographical (episodic). 

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