Narrator:Now listen to part of a lecture on this topic from a psychology class.
Professor: I've experienced this kind of thing myself. When I was a boy, I took guitar lessons. And in my first lessons, my guitar teacher, she showed me how to hold the guitar and how to place my fingers on the strings. Every day when I got home, I would play the guitar for hours. And after a couple years spending time like this playing at home, I can just pick up my guitar and play music without thinking about it.
But after college, I stopped playing. And for years, I never played or even picked up a guitar. Then the other day I found my old guitar. I was amazed to discover that when I picked it up I knew how to play, even though I hadn’t played for years. I just picked it up and right away I found that I still knew where to place my fingers to play the right notes.
Now I couldn’t explain to you exactly how I was moving each finger or exactly why I had to press the string at one point and not another, but I could still play my favorite songs.
Explain how the example from the lecture illustrates the concept of procedural memory.
Procedural memory refers to the memory of performing a task that become automatic with practice. The professor uses his own experience as an example to explain this term. When he was a little boy, he took guitar lessons, where his teacher taught him the way to hold guitar and place his finger on the strings. After several years’ repetitive practice, he was able to play guitar automatically. Then one day, he found his guitar and was so surprised that he still knew how to play the guitar, even though he had stopped playing guitar for years after college. This explain that procedural memories enable people to perform a task automatically with less difficulties.