Psychological Research

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 283–299 | Cite as

Motor programme information as a separable memory unit

  • Johannes Engelkamp
  • Hubert D. Zimmer


Two experiments produced further evidence for the claim that motor programme information may be considered as a separate memory unit, partially independent of other memory representations. In Experiment 1, it was shown that for the comparison of shared movement components in two actions such as “turning the handle” and “stirring the ingredients”, the activation of their motor programmes is required. This is demonstrated by the finding that the execution of the first action, which preactivates its motor programmes, leads to shorter reaction times than under control conditions in which the verbally described action is only spoken. In Experiment 2, it was further shown that the execution of the action does not in every case expedite the assessment of a connection between a prime item and a target item vis à vis verbal repetition, but only where the task requires the activation of motor programmes.


Reaction Time Short Reaction Time Target Item Memory Representation Motor Programme 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johannes Engelkamp
    • 1
  • Hubert D. Zimmer
    • 1
  1. 1.Fachbereich PsychologieUniversität des SaarlandesSaarbrücken

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