Declarative And Reflexive Memory

If you are being taught how to drive a car, you are constantly trying to convert what the instructor is saying into physical actions. You make a conscious effort to remember the order of 'mirror, signal, manoeuvre', for example. Mental recall of this sort is known as 'declarative memory'.

In time, you will begin to check in your mirror, flick on the indicator and pull out without consciously recalling your instructor's words. Your actions become automatic and there is no longer any conscious act of" recall. Memory, however, still plays its part and is known as 'reflexive memory'.

Similarly, if you are being taught how to drive a golf ball down the centre of the fairway, you are desperately trying to convert what the instructor is saying into a respectable shot. In those early, frustrating weeks and months, your technique relies heavily on your declarative memory: what were the instructor's ten key points? How was the man standing in the golfing video at home? And what did it say about grip in that book you got for Christmas?

Wouldn't life become so much easier if your declarative memory was able to absorb and recall all these tips in an instant? It would then be solely a matter of practice before they transferred into your reflexive memory. And think how much better your game would be if you could learn every piece of advice accurately. It's very common for errors to creep in, and a poor technique becomes second nature just as easily as a good one.

A simple journey can radically improve the efficiency of your declarative memory. It gives you the best possible start if you are learning to play golf or rebuilding an aspect of your game. Nothing demonstrates this better than the golf swing, the bane of so many golfers' lives. Instructors are always encouraging players to tick off a mental checklist of dos and don'ts before each swing easier said than done in the heat of a game. Using a journey, however, you can memorize a whole series of detailed instructions, effortlessly running through them whenever you want.

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Responses

  • tom
    Is declarative memory constantly updated?
    4 months ago

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