Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 217, Issue 1, pp 43–52 | Cite as

The interplay between posture control and memory for spatial locations

  • Michael A. RileyEmail author
  • Suvobrata Mitra
  • Nichole Saunders
  • Adam W. Kiefer
  • Sebastian Wallot
Research Article


Three experiments examined interactions between posture control in upright stance and a concurrent location memory task. Healthy young participants stood upright and memorized the locations of dots presented on a computer screen. In the retrieval phase, they indicated whether arrows presented on the screen would pass through any of the memorized locations. Postural sway variability was measured either during the retention period or during retrieval. Relative to not performing the memory task, postural sway variability increased in the retention period when the eyes were closed, but remained unaffected when the eyes were open. During retrieval, postural sway variability was reduced relative to the no-memory-task condition. Results were interpreted in terms of dual-task costs associated with maintaining multiple frames of reference.


Spatial memory Posture control Reference frames Dual-tasking 



Michael Riley, Nichole Saunders, Adam Kiefer, and Sebastian Wallot were supported by NSF (USA) grants HSD 0728743, BCS 092662, BCS 0642716, and BCS 0843133. Suvobrata Mitra was supported by ESRC (UK) grants RES-000-22-2248 and RES-000-22-4433.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. Riley
    • 1
    Email author
  • Suvobrata Mitra
    • 2
  • Nichole Saunders
    • 1
  • Adam W. Kiefer
    • 3
  • Sebastian Wallot
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Cognition, Action, and Perception, Department of PsychologyUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WarwickWarwickUK
  3. 3.Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological SciencesBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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