Evaluating Neuropsychological Evidence From Humans That Suggests That Declarative And Non Declarative Memories Are Formed

Evaluating Neuropsychological Evidence From Humans That Suggests That Declarative And Non Declarative Memories Are Formed

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Evaluate neuropsychological evidence from humans that suggests that declarative and non-declarative memories are formed in different systems.
Memory is a widely studied topic within psychology, due to the multiple elements within it. Two of these elements include declarative memory (‘knowing what’; the conscious recalling of facts or events) and non-declarative memory (the influence of an experience on behaviour, even if the influence is not recognised (Kalat, 2013). Throughout this essay, declarative and non-declarative memory may be used interchangeably with explicit and implicit memory respectively. It has been suggested that memory is composed of multiple systems and after a review of recent literature, it is concluded that declarative memory operates in a different system to non-declarative memory. However, there is recent, valid evidence to support a single-system model of memory and this is evaluated in relation to evidence for the multiple-system model of memory.
Strong evidence has been found for a multiple-memory system for declarative and non-declarative memory from studying patients with amnesia. Multiple-System Memory Theory (Squire, 2004) is the idea that long term memory is composed of individual systems that are independent of one another and handle different types of memories, i.e. declarative, non-declarative. Studying people with deficits, as in amnesia, allows us to observe the effect of brain damage on certain areas of memory, which would be impossible on people of healthy disposition. Amnesia is “a fundamental deficit in relational (declarative) memory processing” (Althoff, Cohen, Ryan & Whitlow, 2000) which is thought to be caused by brain damage to the limbic system including the medial temporal lobe. Amn...


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...el of memory and the single-system model of memory. However, it is concluded that evidence favours the multiple-system model of memory. The large amount of research on brain damaged patients shows single dissociations between implicit and explicit memory. Additionally, the most convincing line of evidence is the double dissociation found between amnesic patients and other brain damaged patients such as occipital lobe lesion patients, who show opposite impairments in explicit and implicit memory. However, the evidence for the single-system model of memory should not be dismissed as it highlights the issues surrounding some of the research methods involved in the measuring of memory such as the reliability of tests. It also portrays a valid amount of evidence to suggest it may be not as clear cut as just having multiple systems of memory, and there may be some overlap.

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