Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 179, Issue 2, pp 191–198 | Cite as

Returning home: location memory versus posture memory in object manipulation

  • Matthias WeigeltEmail author
  • Rajal Cohen
  • David A. Rosenbaum
Research Article


Previous studies of object manipulation have suggested that when participants return an object to the place from which they just carried it, they tend to grasp the object for the target-back-to-home trips close to where they just grasped it for the home-to-target trips [Exp Brain Res 157(4):486–495, 2004; Psychon Bull Rev, 2006]. What was unclear from these previous studies was whether participants recalled postures or locations. According to the posture hypothesis, they remembered what body positions they adopted when they last held the object. According to the location hypothesis, they remembered where they held the object and then took hold of it there or nearby again. To distinguish between these possibilities, we had participants mount or dismount a platform after home-to-target moves and before target-back-to-home moves. In the control condition, they did not change their vertical position relative to the shelf containing the home and target platforms (they merely stepped sideways). We found that participants grasped the object at nearly the same place along its length as they had before, even if this meant adopting very different postures than before. This outcome is consistent with the location-recall account and is inconsistent with the posture-recall account. The implications for motor planning are discussed.


Goal Posture Home Position Target Platform Return Move Platform Interaction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias Weigelt
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Rajal Cohen
    • 3
  • David A. Rosenbaum
    • 3
  1. 1.University of BielefeldBielefeldGermany
  2. 2.Max-Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain SciencesMunichGermany
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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