Several studies have reported the existence of reciprocal interactions between the type of motor activity physically performed on objects and the conceptual knowledge that is retained of them. Whether covert motor activity plays a similar effect is less clear. Certainly, objects are strong triggers for actions, and motor components can make the associated concepts more memorable. However, addition of an action-related memory trace may not always be automatic and could rather depend on 'how' objects are encountered. To test this hypothesis, we compared memory for objects that passive observers experienced as verbal labels (the word describing them), visual images (color photographs) and actions (pantomimes of object use). We predicted that the more direct the involvement of action-related representations the more effective would be the addition of a motor code to the experience and the more accurate would be the recall. Results showed that memory for objects presented as words i.e., a format that might only indirectly prime the sensorimotor system, was generally less accurate compared to memory for objects presented as photographs or pantomimes, which are more likely to directly elicit motor simulation processes. In addition, free recall of objects experienced as pantomimes was more accurate when these items afforded actions performed towards one's body than actions directed away from the body. We propose that covert motor activity can contribute to objects' memory, but the beneficial addition of a motor code to the experience is not necessarily automatic. An advantage is more likely to emerge when the observer is induced to take a first-person stance during the encoding phase, as may happen for objects affording actions directed towards the body, which obviously carry more relevance for the actor.

Daprati, E., Balestrucci, P., Nico, D. (2022). Do graspable objects always leave a motor signature? A study on memory traces. EXPERIMENTAL BRAIN RESEARCH [10.1007/s00221-022-06487-4].

Do graspable objects always leave a motor signature? A study on memory traces

Daprati, Elena
;
2022

Abstract

Several studies have reported the existence of reciprocal interactions between the type of motor activity physically performed on objects and the conceptual knowledge that is retained of them. Whether covert motor activity plays a similar effect is less clear. Certainly, objects are strong triggers for actions, and motor components can make the associated concepts more memorable. However, addition of an action-related memory trace may not always be automatic and could rather depend on 'how' objects are encountered. To test this hypothesis, we compared memory for objects that passive observers experienced as verbal labels (the word describing them), visual images (color photographs) and actions (pantomimes of object use). We predicted that the more direct the involvement of action-related representations the more effective would be the addition of a motor code to the experience and the more accurate would be the recall. Results showed that memory for objects presented as words i.e., a format that might only indirectly prime the sensorimotor system, was generally less accurate compared to memory for objects presented as photographs or pantomimes, which are more likely to directly elicit motor simulation processes. In addition, free recall of objects experienced as pantomimes was more accurate when these items afforded actions performed towards one's body than actions directed away from the body. We propose that covert motor activity can contribute to objects' memory, but the beneficial addition of a motor code to the experience is not necessarily automatic. An advantage is more likely to emerge when the observer is induced to take a first-person stance during the encoding phase, as may happen for objects affording actions directed towards the body, which obviously carry more relevance for the actor.
In corso di stampa
Rilevanza internazionale
Articolo
Esperti anonimi
Settore BIO/09
English
Concrete concepts
Dynamic superiority effect
Enactment effect
First-person experience
Motor cognition
Picture superiority effect
Daprati, E., Balestrucci, P., Nico, D. (2022). Do graspable objects always leave a motor signature? A study on memory traces. EXPERIMENTAL BRAIN RESEARCH [10.1007/s00221-022-06487-4].
Daprati, E; Balestrucci, P; Nico, D
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2108/307637
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