Research Topic

The Role of Declarative and Procedural Memory in Language

About this Research Topic

It is becoming increasingly clear that language depends on at least partially distinct learning and memory processes. However, these have been conceptualized somewhat differently by different literature. Automatic processes have often been thought of in terms of statistical learning, implicit learning, or ...

It is becoming increasingly clear that language depends on at least partially distinct learning and memory processes. However, these have been conceptualized somewhat differently by different literature. Automatic processes have often been thought of in terms of statistical learning, implicit learning, or procedural learning and memory systems. In contrast, controlled processes are often thought of in terms explicit knowledge or declarative learning and memory systems. Typical language comprehension and production seem to involve both types of processes, which interact during efficient communication. Moreover, evidence suggests that dysfunction of the underlying circuitry can lead to language disorders such as developmental language disorder or dyslexia.

However, many issues and questions related to this topic remain to be answered. First, the exact roles of these processes in both first and second language require further clarification. Second, the relations between the different conceptualizations, and their impacts on language, remain to be elucidated. Additionally, the neural bases of statistical learning, and their relations to declarative and procedural memory, remain unclear. Third, issues of validity and reliability remain to be resolved for tasks probing aspects of the different learning and memory processes. Resolving these may have impacts on how the different conceptualizations of these processes can be teased apart, and on how clinical psychologists can test them in disorders. Fourth, although much progress has been made understanding interactions between the processes, much remains to be learned, including crucially how their interactions impact language learning and use. Fifth, more work is needed to clarify how theoretical developments can lead to diagnostic and therapeutic advances for individuals with language disorders, including how compensatory processes may be encouraged.

Therefore, we welcome submissions that address various issues on this topic, including (but not limited to) the following:
• Theoretical approaches that begin to integrate different but overlapping conceptualizations, such as statistical learning, implicit learning, and procedural learning and memory, or likewise for explicit and declarative learning and memory.
• Work clarifying issues of validity and reliability, including what is and is not important in the study of declarative/procedural memory in language, and how validity/reliability may be best approached.
• Neuropsychological and theoretical or empirical work on how declarative and procedural memory (or analogous conceptualizations) may interact to allow efficient language learning or processing at different levels.
• Research to improve our understanding of the roles of declarative/procedural memory systems (or analogous conceptualizations) in developmental and acquired language disorders.”
• How the relative preservation of one of these memory systems may lead to compensation in language disorders.
• How knowledge about the role of declarative/procedural memory in language may help lead to new approaches in language rehabilitation.
• Neural correlates of declarative/procedural memory and language.
• Neuropsychological factors associated with (dys)functions and rehabilitation.


Keywords: specific language impairment, procedural memory, declarative memory, language processing, language models


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

28 February 2021 Manuscript
31 March 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

28 February 2021 Manuscript
31 March 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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