Explicit and Implicit
Memory Storage

Explicit Memory Storage

Explicit memories consist of memories from events that have occurred in the external world. Information stored in explicit memory is about a specific event that happened at a specific time and place. In forming and storing explicit memories, associations are done with previous related stimuli or experiences. Therefore, explicit memories can be remembered and recalled, and rely on previous experiences and knowledge. It is known that explicit memories involve the temporal lobe.

Implicit Memory Storage

Implicit memories cannot be looked up or remembered to be used for actions and reasoning. They consist of memories necessary to perform events and tasks, or to produce a specific type of response. Implicit memory is best demonstrated when performance is improved on a task. This type of memory is shown through activation of the sensory and motor systems needed to perform a certain task. There are two basic types of implicit memory; repetition priming and skill learning.

Repetition Priming:

Repetition priming occurs when previous experience with a stimuli facilitates later processing of that stimuli. This phenomenon has been seen in studies when subjects are exposed to a set of words and then later tested. Later tests consist of priming subjects with parts of a word and asking them to complete the word with whatever comes to mind. The results of these tests are that subjects are likely to complete the word to match words they were exposed to at the beginning. This type of learning is one type of implicit memory.

Skill Learning:

Skill learning consists of learned, automatic movements or skills. These memories are only accessed by using or executing them. Skill learning relies on associating a certain stimuli with a response. This is done by the stimulus-response connection subsystem. The stimuli or perceptual input from the external environment is associated with the motor skill needed from the motor memory. By performance of the specific task or through activation of other reflex and motor systems, the implicit memory is accessible.

Return to main memory page.