Automaticity and multiple memory systems

TitleAutomaticity and multiple memory systems
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsF Ashby, G., & Crossley M. J.
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews in Cognitive Science
Date Published2012 May

A large number of criteria have been proposed for determining when a behavior has become automatic. Almost all of these were developed before the widespread acceptance of multiple memory systems. Consequently, popular frameworks for studying automaticity often neglect qualitative differences in how different memory systems guide initial learning. Unfortunately, evidence suggests that automaticity criteria derived from these frameworks consistently misclassify certain sets of initial behaviors as automatic. Specifically, criteria derived from cognitive science mislabel much behavior still under the control of procedural memory as automatic, and criteria derived from animal learning mislabel some behaviors under the control of declarative memory as automatic. Even so, neither set of criteria make the opposite error-that is, both sets correctly identify any automatic behavior as automatic. In fact, evidence suggests that although there are multiple memory systems and therefore multiple routes to automaticity, there might nevertheless be only one common representation for automatic behaviors. A number of possible cognitive and cognitive neuroscience models of this single automaticity system are reviewed. WIREs Cogn Sci 2012, 3:363-376. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1172 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

Alternate JournalWiley Interdiscip Rev Cogn Sci
PubMed ID26301468