Bias in self-motion perceived speed can enhance episodic memory


Prior experiences of a stimulus facilitate reprocessing of that stimulus on a subsequent occasion. This relative ease and speed with which information is processed is defined as fluency and can constitute a basis for memory judgment. Fluency can also be manipulated on line by perceptual bias (e.g., levels of noise), leading to an increase in recognition for items processed more fluently (e.g., items with less noise). Previous experiments using Remember–Know paradigm have shown an impact of perceptual fluency only on familiarity and not on recollection. Recent episodic memory models have postulated a strong link between episodic memory and spatial processes, especially with egocentric updating (Gomez et al. in Acta Psychol 132(3):221–227, 2009). The present experiment was conducted to determine whether self-motion fluency affects recognition performance and particularly has an impact on “Remember” responses. Thirty participants learned a 4-min path movie and then had to recognize among short paths if they were part of the learned path, followed by a Remember–Know procedure for recognized items. Self-motion fluency was manipulated with the presence of nimble acceleration applied on a small part of the recognition paths. Results show that the presence of a self-motion fluency increases significantly the proportion of remember responses solely on learned paths. This study spotlights for the first time a specific fluency effect on recollection and indicates an implication of egocentric-updating processing in episodic memory retrieval.

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Conflict of interest

This supplement was not sponsored by outside commercial interests. It was funded entirely by ECONA, Via dei Marsi, 78, 00185 Roma, Italy.

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Correspondence to Mélanie Cerles.

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Cerles, M., Rousset, S. Bias in self-motion perceived speed can enhance episodic memory. Cogn Process 13, 121–124 (2012).

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  • Episodic memory
  • Remembering
  • Self-motion
  • Fluency
  • Egocentric
  • Spatial representation