Declarative Memory

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Declarative Memory

Basic Characteristics

  • Description

Declarative memory is an aspect of human memory that stores facts, or explicit memories. Declarative memory is known as such because it is a conscious memory that can be mentally and physically declared or discussed. A memory is encoded through conscious learning and can often be learned quickly, through a single trial. There are two types of memories which occur under declarative memory: semantic memory and Episodic Memory. Semantic memory is known as factual knowledge that is independent of time and place. And Episodic Memory is theoretical knowledge of a specific moment in time or in a specific place, often called a personal experience. One example of declarative memory is recognition memory. The recognition memory consists of two parts; a re-collective (episodic) component that supports the ability to remember the episode in which an item was presented and a familiarity component that does not remember the episode, but does remember the item that was presented. Declarative memory uses the medial temporal lobes, and research has found an especially strong connection with declarative memory and the hippocampus. Declarative memory also uses related areas in the cerebral cortex of the brain. Deficits in declarative memory are associated with various mental illnesses including Alzheimer’s disease and Bipolar Disorder.

  • History

In the late 19th century William James wrote Principles of Psychology. He distinguished memories from habits. He described the creation of associations that must be formed in order to create memories. And his description of memories were based upon long term memories pertaining to facts, which today is described as declarative memory. Declarative memory is often discussed in connection with semantic memory and Episodic Memory. See semantic memory, Episodic Memory and long term memory for further details about the history of these forms of memory.

  • References

Tulving and Markowitsch, 1998. Episodic and declarative memory: role of the hippocampus. PMID 9662134

Eichenbaum, 2006. Remembering: functional organization of the declarative memory system. PMID 16920614

Ogren et al, 2008. The role of 5-HT(1A) receptors in learning and memory. PMID 18394726

Knowlton and Squire, 1995. Remembering and knowing: two different expressions of declarative memory. PMID 7602267

Manns et al, 2003 Recognition Memory and the Human Hippocampus PMID 12526782

Related Information

  • Indicators (dependent variables, conditions, or contrasts; measurement variables used for analysis) associated with this construct (vote or nominate by editing this page):
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  • CNP Level

External Resources

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