Memory Traces and Effects in Therapy

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procedural versus declarative memory be interspersed chronologically or separated into distinct stages? Why? What order, if any, is likely to maximize learning rate? Why?

A combination of orders may be used to maximize the learning rate as studies show that both chronological and categorical (distinctive stages) ordering supports the development of procedural and declarative memory (Sandhofer, Doumas, 2008; Hemmer, Persaud, 2014). While both procedural and declarative memories function differently in the mind, they are parts of a whole process of memory recall. However, in a course that focuses solely on developing procedural memory, categorical ordering appears to be the best solution for maximizing the learning rate (Sandhofer, Doumas, 2008).

Procedural memory is that which is automatically recalled, such as the skill of riding a bike. Once the procedure is learned it becomes a fixture within the mind that does not have to actively recalled through any mental effort of the individual, which is necessary in declarative memory exercises, such as attempting to remember the steps involved in doing one's tax return. The patterns that allow procedural memory to be reinforced are located in categorical ordering of learning materials, as schemas assist in the cognition process.

Therefore elements within a course that require developing procedural versus declarative memory should be interspersed into distinct stages that are schematic because the schema arrangement facilitates the pattern process of the cognitive faculty involved in procedural learning. The categorical ordering of schema then becomes the best way to maximize learning rate, as it provides an arrangement disposed to the natural processes of procedural memorization. In this manner, the cognitive phase can proceed to the associative phase and the autonomous phase in which the procedural is solidified within memory and can simply be recalled automatically by way of environmental stimuli -- as in the case of sitting on a bike and remembering how to balance and peddle in order to go.

2. Much like a computer, the human brain may retain traces of information even after being deleted. These memory traces are physico-chemical manifestations of representations (memories) in the brain. While their existence remains disputed, how might the existence of memory traces bear on developing new procedural and declarative memories? Why is this significant for understanding human cognition?

The existence of memory traces can bear on developing new procedural and declarative memories in a number of ways. For instance, in terms of the "reactivation"…

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References

Hemmer, P., Persaud, K. (2014). Interaction between categorical knowledge and episodic memory across domains. Frontiers in Psychology, 5: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00584

Sandhofer, C., Doumas, L. (2008). Order of presentation of effects in learning color categories. Journal of Cognition and Development, 9(2): 1-28.

Sandkuhler, J., Lee, J. (2013). How to erase memory traces of pain and fear. Trends in Neurosciences, 36(6): 343-352.

Schonauer, M., Geisler, T., Gais, S. (2014). Strengthening Procedural Memories by Reactivation in Sleep. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 26(1): 143-153.

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