Memory: Procedural Memory, Skill, Perceptual-Motor Learning, and Awareness

R. Custers*, H. Veling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This article focuses on how behavioral routines or procedures are learned and stored in memory. It departs from the realization that conscious access to the acquisition of skills and procedural knowledge is extremely limited. Subsequently, it discusses the problem of how learned knowledge about specific instances of a particular type of action can be generalized to similar, though always slightly different actions in the future. Next, it focuses on how knowledge stored in memory can be linked together in the learning of more complex sequences of actions, and how these sequences are learned. Finally, it discusses the brain processes that underlie the skill-learning, and addresses the question of how conscious control may affect the execution of acquired skills. The article closes with a brief discussion in which the unique characteristics of procedural memory are highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Consciousness
EditorsWilliam P. Banks
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780123738738
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Habits
  • Implicit learning
  • Memory
  • Motor learning
  • Procedural memory
  • Sequence learning
  • Skill


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