An action to an object does not improve its episodic encoding, but removes distraction

Laurent, X. and Ensslin, A. and Mari-Beffa, P. (2015) An action to an object does not improve its episodic encoding, but removes distraction. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance., 44 (1). p. 244.


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There is some debate as to whether responding to objects in our environment improves episodic memory or doesn't impact it. Some authors claim that actively encoding objects improves their representation in episodic memory. Conversely, episodic memory has also been shown to improve in passive conditions, suggesting that the action itself could interfere with the encoding process. This study looks at the impact of attention and action on episodic memory using a novel WWW task that includes information about object identity (What), spatial (Where) and temporal (When) properties. With this approach we studied the episodic memory of two types of object: Target, where attention or an action is defined, and Distractor, object to be ignored, following two selective states: active vs. passive selection. When targets were actively selected, we found no evidence of episodic memory enhancement compared to passive selection; but instead memory from irrelevant sources was suppressed. The pattern was replicated across a 2D static display and a more realistic 3D virtual environment. This selective attention effect on episodic memory was not observed on non-episodic measures, demonstrating a link between attention and the encoding of episodic experiences.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Health and Behavioural Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Arts and Humanities > School of Creative Studies and Media
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2015 10:14
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2015 03:42
ISSN: 0096-1523
Publisher's Statement: 'This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.'
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/5337
Publisher: American Psychological Association
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