Declarative memory is a type of long-term memory that can be consciously recalled. It involves things like names and places and those of specific events. An example of a declarative memory is that of the human vocabulary, which can be classified as part of the semantic memory subtype (Nevid, 2011).
Procedural memory is the memory which stores information about how an action is done. An important type of procedural memory which has to be learned is being able to drive. This is a type of motor memory which requires gradual acquisition before it becomes a type of habit (Zanetti et al, 1997).
Declarative memory loss can affect an individual in many ways, but can be associated with a “typical” memory loss seen in Alzheimer’s. An individual with this type of memory loss may struggle with remembering birthdays or other learnt facts (Zanetti et al, 1997). An individual with procedural memory loss may appear clumsy or avoid doing certain common activities. It can affect the way that the person moves or completes everyday tasks such as driving or even using the bathroom (Nevid, 2011).
I think overall I would prefer to lose my procedural memory. I think that remembering facts and figures is an important part of life and it would be horrible to forget my family’s birthdays and important dates. I would also hate to lose my vocabulary as I need it to communicate with the world. Losing procedural memory would also be bad but there are ways of getting around it, such as being driven by someone else. Additionally, it would only affect newly formed procedural memories and therefore I already possess most of the necessary skills in this area to get through life, but I want to continue to learn and expand my vocabulary as I get older.
- Nevid, J. S. (2008). Psychology: Concepts and Applications. Cengage Learning.
- Zanetti, O., Binetti, G., Magni, E., Rozzini, L., Bianchetti, A., & Trabucchi, M. (1997). Procedural memory stimulation in Alzheimer’s disease: impact of a training programme. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, 95(3), 152–157.