Memory systems and the control of skilled action

Wayne Christensen, John Sutton, Kath Bicknell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


In keeping with the dominant view that skills are largely automatic, the standard view of memory systems distinguishes between a representational declarative system associated with cognitive processes and a performance-based procedural system. The procedural system is thought to be largely responsible for the performance of well-learned skilled actions. Here we argue that most skills do not fully automate, which entails that the declarative system should make a substantial contribution to skilled performance. To support this view, we review evidence showing that the declarative system does indeed play a number of roles in skilled action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)692-718
Number of pages27
JournalPhilosophical Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2019


  • skill
  • memory systems
  • declarative
  • procedural
  • cognitive control
  • motor control

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