Nondeclarative memory (sometimes called implicit memory) is a component of long-term memory devoted to knowing how to do something and is referred to as a “heterogeneous” collection of unconscious learning capacities that are expressed through performance and do not afford access to any conscious memory content.
The mind is a minefield of various compositions. And though it plays a primary role in how we think, it also gives leverage in the way we act. The pivotal property in our various actions whether conscious or otherwise is based on both experience and how quick we are to assimilate new things.
For instance, there is information that we have to seriously think about before we can remember them, while there are those that we can react to without even giving it much thought. This reflects in the activity of both the conscious and subconscious.
However, while the information we have to actively exact an effort to remember is called the explicit memory, the information we need not expend energy or time remembering, which forms in the subconscious is called the implicit or non-declarative memory.
We would have acted on this memory before. The ease with which a child rides a bike every time, the skill applied in driving a car even when one has not been behind the wheels in years, the magic behind always knowing the directions home even when one is not paying attention to the landmark, all form the intricacies of this memory. For anyone who has ever applied their memory to tasks, it takes conscious efforts to remember some things.
For a student preparing for an exam, it could take hours of studying to remember the answers to certain questions. Especially, when the questions would be on a relatively new field or a foreign subject like learning how to speak French. Yet, for some information, the task is overly different – some memory could require little effort in regurgitation. This applies to remembering the tune of a song or a chorus of lyrics. Usually, the tune still remains in one’s head, days after the experience. This is through the actions of unconscious memory. There is a reason why this is so.
Psychologically, things that the mind does not need much effort to remember, reside in the unintentional chamber of the brain. It is called so because the mind is not usually aware of when the action is carried out. It is based on the unconscious. Actions born from this memory are not verbally recited or commanded. It begins with learning a specific task and through repetition, creating a mastery of that task. The strength of recall lies in how much has been put into its meditations. Its effect is that, the more the repetition, the easier the recall and vice versa. (Curran & Schacter, 2001).
Over time, recollection becomes instant and faster in bearing. However, it is reliant on the sharpness of the cue and the context with which they are brought in. For instance, when buttoning a shirt or lacing up a shoe, the context is the shirt and shoe respectively and the cue is reflected through the movement of hands on the surface of the objects. In essence, they do not require extended levels of attention. Concurrently, swimming or cycling are actions that are a display of prior learning of these skills and practice, which makes the strokes of a swimmer or legwork of a cyclist seem almost mechanical.
The parts of the brain necessary for these actions are the cerebellum, basal ganglia, and motor cortex. However, their actions are extremely monitored by the cerebral cortex. In carrying out actions bordering on explicit memory, the hippocampus is required. Yet, it is unnecessary in administering implicit or nondeclarative memory (Baars & Gage, 2010). It is sacred to note that the action of the cerebral cortex in recalling stored information is not automatic. It invokes constant training of the brain through learning and repetition.
Examples of the actions of this memory are remembering the items on a list, remembering countries and their capital, singing a nursery rhyme, remembering the birthday of family and friends, recalling a vacation, and so on.
There are various forms of this memory that reflect on how much is used in achieving such an end and its process.
This is a kind of memory that enables one to carry out actions that require a person to dispense steps to achieving them. It is what is in play when conducting learned tasks. This is what we utilize when riding a motorcycle, doing the dishes, or changing a deflated tire. These are commonly called natural actions, or things that people say, come ‘naturally’ to them. This is because though we do them easily, we might not be able to verbally indicate how we carried them out. Procedural memory is also called sensorimotor habits or automatic skills. They are largely termed the unconscious. The structures of the basal ganglia are instrumental in creating sensorimotor habits or automatic skills.
Priming is relevant when one is asked a certain question and the answer that is given comes from the top of the head, figuratively. For instance, if a person is tasked to give any fruit that starts with an ‘A’, the most likely fruit that would come to the person’s mind is an ‘Apple’. The reason for this would usually be the consistent experience of that letter attributed to that fruit. Unless the person has come in contact with another fruit in their experience, like a person that works at a fruit market, the answer would be fairly the same.
What we might call natural actions or spontaneous activities happens to the factors we have inputted in the mind. This applies to how much is sieved in or out of the brain. Since time immemorial, humans of varied colours and environments have been known to act on instinct. This is shown in arguments when carrying out domestic chores and having casual conversations. These seemingly natural actions are bundles of experiences that we have collated to form the crux of our unintentional memory performance.