Explicit and Implicit Memory

Explicit and Implicit Memory

Explicit and Implicit Memory

Define and explain the differences between implicit memory and explicit memory. Explain the role of the hippocampus in forming memories.

Explicit and Implicit Memory

Explicit memory is the information that an individual works consciously to remember while information that is remembered effortlessly or unconsciously is known as implicit memory.  There has been a lot of research on explicit memory and presently, researchers are working on finding out how implicit memory functions and the influence it has on behavior and knowledge (Myers, 2011).

Explicit memory stores information in cases where a person is trying to remember something intentionally, for example, what was learnt at school. This memory is used daily when recalling things such as the time and date of an appointment, the current president, a friend’s phone number, and a test’s information. This memory is also referred to as declarative memory since an individual explains and recalls the information consciously. Explicit memory may be semantic that involves memories of names, concepts, and facts, or episodic that deals with long-term memories of particular events (Myers, 2011).

Implicit memory involves the things people do not try to remember purposely. It is both unintentional and unconscious (Myers, 2011). It is also referred to as declarative as an individual cannot make it available consciously. For example, a person does not consciously remember how to turn on the television. Although implicit memory is recalled consciously, it has an impact on behavior and knowledge on varying tasks. 

The role of the Hippocampus in forming memories

            The brain’s horse-shoe shaped area has a vital role in that it consolidates information from short-term into long-term memory. The hippocampus is a component of the limbic system that is linked to long-term memories and emotions. Moreover, it is involved in complicated processes including organizing, storing, and forming memories. In case one hippocampus side gets damaged, memory function remains almost normal as it is present in the two brain hemispheres (Myers, 2011).

Explicit and Implicit Memory


Myers, D. G.  (2011). Psychology in Everyday Life (2nd Ed.).  (Chapter 6, 78-90). New York:      Worth Publishers.

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