Implicit memory refers to a change in behavior or performance that occurs as a result of prior experience without conscious recollection of that prior experience. It is usually contrasted with explicit memory, which refers to conscious recollection of a specific experience from the past.
Although ideas about implicit memory date back to the seventeenth century philosophers, modern usage of the term dates to the 1980s, when it was first used to describe a phenomenon based on observations of amnesic patients. Warrington and Weiskrantz, two British neuropsychologists, had reported that although patients with severe amnesia were unable to recall recently presented words or pictures, they were able to generate that information when shown degraded or fragmented forms of the pictures or words, although such information could not be produced without prior exposure. Similarly, Milner and her colleagues reported that the densely...