Implicit Learning in Personal Experience

According to Kalra et al., implicit learning and memory represent the field of human capabilities that can be activated without a response from a person’s awareness. There is a huge difference between implicit and explicit types of learning and memory, since a variety of brain systems are engaged in the selection processes.

One way to explain implicit phenomena would be to address the notions of perceptual and conceptual priming. The former stands for the stimuli that come in similar forms, while the latter builds connections between conceptually related items or memories. In order to explain the background of implicit learning, it is rather important to show that certain events took place before the event that could trigger the required memory patterns, signifying a learning episode from the past. For example, an instance of implicit stimulus-response learning could be presented with one’s hand placed on a hot stove.

Realizing that a hot stove should not be touched, the person in question is not going to do it in the future in order to evade a rather painful experience. There could also be numerous other examples of movement-related implicit learning, such as walking, swimming, or riding a bicycle. Once these types of activities have been thoroughly explored by a person to an extent where they have learned to swim or ride a bicycle, they are not going to lose that skill even after several decades of not being involved in similar activities. This is the exact definition of implicit learning that explains the reasons behind people having the opportunity to control their physical movements despite an occasional exposure to the given activity (for instance, a person still would be able to swim even after they have not been swimming for 20 years in a row).

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