How to understand the world? Implicit learning and explicit learning
Pattern extraction from complicated cues in the environment is an important part of learning that can occur without conscious awareness. Arthur Reber’s fundamental study relating how people learn to respond to the structural relations of an artificial language without employing explicit methods or accumulating verbalizable knowledge about the grammar first introduced the concept of implicit learning (Reber 1967). According to Reber, this incidental, inductive learning process is inherent in language learning.
Declarative and nondeclarative memory systems are closely related with explicit and implicit learning activities, respectively. Nondeclarative (implicit) memory underpins nonconscious learning processes such as priming, classical conditioning, and procedural memory for skills and habits (Squire and Zola 1996). Despite a significant corpus of study on these memory systems, studies on the role of declarative and procedural memory in language processing and aphasia have just lately begun. According to Ullman’s declarative/procedural model, a frontal/basal ganglia network in the brain underpins procedural memory and also serves grammatical rules of language, whereas temporal lobe structures associated with declarative memory serve the mental lexicon, which contains word-specific knowledge (Ullman 2001, 2004).
Working memory, in addition to long-term memory systems, is vital in language processing. Working memory involves both processing and storing functions, which can be measured using a range of tasks, including sentence span tasks, which require a person to analyze written or spoken phrases while remembering the final word of each sentence for subsequent recall (Daneman and Carpenter 1980; Tompkins et al. 1994).