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Enactment Enhances Integration Between Verb and Noun, but Not Relational Processing, in Episodic Memory
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2005 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 46, no 4, 315-321 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Improved recall has consistently been demonstrated following motor activation at encoding (SPT), compared to traditional verbal learning (VT). Enhancements of item-specific processing and relational processing have been proposed as possible mechanisms to account for this SPT effect. There is ample evidence supporting the notion of enhanced item-specific processing, however it is still unclear whether enhancement of relational processing contributes to improved recall. In the present study, 2 experiments were designed to address this issue. In Experiment 1, memory under 2 encoding conditions (VT vs. SPT) and 3 recall conditions (free recall vs. category-cued recall vs. verb-cued recall) were studied in 3 large samples (N= 500–600). Experiment 2 replicated the findings of Experiment 1, and controlled for the use of actual objects, short-term memory effects, and carryover effects, in Experiment 1. The results in both experiments showed an interaction between type of encoding and type of recall. Verb-cued recall was affected differently by SPT encoding, as compared to category-cued recall and free recall. The results indicate that enhanced integration between verb and noun is an effect of SPT encoding, whereas enhanced relational processing is not.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 46, no 4, 315-321 p.
Keyword [en]
Episodic memory, subject-performed tasks, relational processing, item-specific processing, integration
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23758DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.2005.00461.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-23758DiVA: diva2:194377
Available from: 2005-04-25 Created: 2005-04-25 Last updated: 2011-05-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Helping Hands: Motion and integration in action memory
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Helping Hands: Motion and integration in action memory
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Verbal information has predominantly been the to-be-remembered materials in human memory research for more than a century. In recent years some interesting deviations from the established rules of verbal memory have been observed in subjects who have been asked to motorically self-perform (enact) action sentences at the encoding phase of the memory task, instead of only hearing or reading them as in a traditional verbal task (VT). Marked enhancements in recall were also consistently demonstrated in such studies and the effect was named the subject-performed task (SPT) effect. Presently, the body of SPT research is large but little agreement has been reached regarding the mechanism at work in producing the SPT phenomenon. The present thesis addresses two major issues in SPT research. The enhancement of associative information and the significance of the motor component are evaluated. In Study A, the SPT effect was studied in two cued-recall tasks that relied on item-specific association and relational association, respectively. The results showed that SPT encoding interacts with item-specific associative cues at recall to produce a larger SPT effect as compared to free recall. This supports the notion that part of the SPT effect is due to enhanced item-specific association. In Study B, the associative effect in SPT was studied amongst age cohorts comprised of subjects between 40 and 85 years old. Normal age-related decline in episodic memory has elsewhere been suggested to be caused mainly by associative deficits connected with ageing. The results of Study B indicate that the item-specific associative effect in SPT was more age sensitive than recall of VT and the relational associative effect in SPT. In Study C, the question over whether the SPT effect is dependent on motor modality or not was addressed. Self-produced sign language encoding was argued to be qualitatively the same as self-produced oral/verbal encoding, with the motor modality component being the only exception. It was also argued that the motor modality component was the main similarity to performing SPT. Since the signing subjects performed at the same level as the SPT condition at recall, and better than the control conditions (e.g., VT), the conclusion was made that motor activation per se can contribute to memory enhancement in SPT. Whether SPT encoding results in qualitatively different memory traces is discussed as well as the effect of SPT on other types of associative information. The results are also briefly related to other controversies in SPT research. It is concluded, finally, that enactment produces differential effects on different types of associations. The association between verb and noun is clearly enhanced by SPT encoding. Moreover, it is concluded that overt motor activation is necessary for obtaining a full SPT effect. To explore these interactions further and to build upon these conclusions, an increased focus on motor processes and their relation to verbal processes is called for in future cognitive research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Psykologiska institutionen, 2005. 98 p.
Keyword
episodic memory, action memory, cued recall, motor activation, association, sentence integration
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-476 (URN)91-7155-072-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2005-05-20, David Magnussonsalen (U31), hus 8, Frescati hagväg 8, Stockholm, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2005-04-25 Created: 2005-04-25Bibliographically approved

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