A Brain System for Procedural Memory
Investigators have separated procedural memory into two general types. One type involves the acquisition of habits and skills, the capacity for a very broad variety of stereotyped and unconscious behavioural repertoires. These extend from simple refinement of particular repeated motor patterns to the learning of long action sequences in response to highly complex stimuli. The other type of procedural memory involves specific sensory-to-motor adaptations, such as adjustments of reflexes, changing the force exerted to compensate for a new load, or the acquisition of conditioned reflexes that involve novel motor responses to new sensory contingencies, as characterized by the many instances of Pavlovian conditioning described earlier. This chapter analyzes the brain systems that support these two types of unconscious learning.
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