is the aspect of human memory
that stores facts
. It is so called because it refers to memories that can be consciously discussed, or declared.
It applies to standard textbook learning
, as well as memories that can be 'travelled back to' in one's 'mind's eye
'. It is contrasted with procedural memory
, which applies to skills. Declarative memory is subject to forgetting
, but frequently-accessed memories can last indefinitely. Declarative memories are best established by using active recall
combined with mnemonic techniques
and spaced repetition
Types of declarative memory
There are two types of declarative:Semantic memory
: Theoretical knowledge independent of time and place (e.g. knowing that an apple is called by society to be a "fruit"), a piece of data.Episodic memory
: Factual knowledge of a specific moment in time and place, personal experiences
Some people believe that episodic memory and semantic memory are really just one type of memory. However, most believe they are quite different, and indeed distinct.
Physically speaking, declarative memory requires the medial temporal lobe, especially the hippocampus
and related areas of the cerebral cortex
. The famous amnesiac H.M.
had a great deal of his medial temporal lobe removed and had a primarily declarative impairment (specifically, his episodic memory).