Definition: A division of LTM that stores memories for how things are done.


  • The part of our memory that we use to remember the "how-to" skills we have learned.
  • Procedural memory is knowing the "procedure" to do something.


  • Remembering the steps of how to ride a bike
  • Remembering the few simple steps of tying your shoe.
  • Remembering how to play a musical instrument.
  • Remembering how to drive car
  • Procedural memory takes place in the sport of lacrosse, playing a position without really having to think about it because you have played the sport for such a long time. For example if you see a ball being thrown to the player on the other team your reflexes tend to kick in, and are able to read the pass meaning you could go for the interception.

Additional Resources




In this article, written by Endel Tulving, it begins to delve into a deeper look at the different types of memory a person has in their brains. The three types of memory being procedural memory, semantic memory and episodic memory. The experiment is done on a patient that had just suffered a severe closed head injury. This caused the subject to have immense memory loss and even lose some of their consciousness. Tulving then began to study the effect of trauma on the memories of people; especially procedural memory. Tulving came to the conclusion that " the distinction between knowing and remembering previous occurrences of events is meaningful to people, that people can make corresponding judgments about their memory performance, and that these judgments vary systematically with the conditions under which retrieved information takes place." (Tulving). This basically shows that people put meaning behind the memories that they can retrieve, such as how to tie their shoes or ride a bicycle but how the judgements are made after the fact changes due to the conditions in which the memory was retrieved.
Tulving, E. (1985). Memory and consciousness. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 26(1), 1.

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