Sensory–motor properties of past actions bias memory in a recognition task

Abstract

The aim of this study was to show that sensory–motor consequences of past actions form part of memory trace components cued by current experience. In a first task participants had to learn a list of words. Then in a guessing task they played against the computer. Finally, in a recognition task, they had to judge if the words were or were not present in the learning task. Words appeared either in the colour associated with success or failure in the guessing task, or in a non-informative colour. In the first experiment, results show that when the words to be judged were in the colour associated with success, participants answered faster and produced more “old” responses than when the words to be judged were in the colour associated with failure in the previous task. Moreover, when the words to be judged were in the colour associated with failure, participants were slower and produced less “old” responses than when the words were in a colour not informative of success or failure. The second experiment confirms that the results obtained in Experiment 1 were linked to the sensory–motor consequences of past actions associated with the colour and not to the colour itself.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    A' = 1−xy, xy = (x + y)/4, x = p(FA)/p(HIT), y = p(O)/p(CR).

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Acknowledgments

All co-authors would like to thank Lindsay Rondot for her precious help as a native English speaker.

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Correspondence to Denis Brouillet.

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Brouillet, D., Vagnot, C., Milhau, A. et al. Sensory–motor properties of past actions bias memory in a recognition task. Psychological Research 79, 678–686 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-014-0600-6

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Keywords

  • False Alarm
  • Motor Action
  • Response Latency
  • Learning Task
  • Recognition Task