, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 822-851

Representational momentum and related displacements in spatial memory: A review of the findings


Memory for the final location of a moving target is often displaced in the direction of target motion, and this has been referred to asrepresentational momentum. Characteristics of the target (e.g., velocity, size, direction, and identity), display (e.g., target format, retention interval, and response method), context (landmarks, expectations, and attribution of motion source), and observer (e.g., allocation of attention, eye movements, and psychopathology) that influence the direction and magnitude of displacement are reviewed. Specific conclusions regarding numerous variables that influence displacement (e.g., presence of landmarks or surrounding context), as well as broad-based conclusions regarding displacement in general (e.g., displacement does not reflect objective physical principles, may reflect aspects of naive physics, does not solely reflect eye movements, may involve some modular processing, and reflects high-level processes) are drawn. A possible computational theory of displacement is suggested in which displacement (1) helps bridge the gap between perception and action and (2) plays a critical part in localizing stimuli in the environment.