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Saccade-induced retrieval enhancement and the recovery of perceptual item-specific information

Abstract

Saccade-induced retrieval enhancement (SIRE) effects refer to the finding that memory can be enhanced when a short period of saccadic eye movements takes place prior to retrieval. Previous published work testifies to this eye movement advantage, but no work has yet examined if SIRE effects can be found when retrieval demands are high as a result of testing non-studied memoranda that are identical in name/conceptual codes, similar in perceptual features, but differ in terms of perceptual—item-specific information. The results indicate SIRE effects can be found under such conditions and are independent of encoding orientation (intentional vs. incidental). More particularly, SIRE effects manifested themselves in terms of the retrieval of item-specific detail and recollection (vs. familiarity). In terms of the latter, recollection but not familiarity was enhanced by eye movements. These findings are considered in the context of extant theories of SIRE and related research.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The reason for this selection was that some past experiments have shown stronger eye movement effects in those who are sRH (vs. mixed-handed) (e.g. Lyle et al. 2008). However, findings have been varied (e.g. Lyle and Jacobs 2010). Rather than assess if mixed-handers would show eye movement effects, the current experiment was primarily concerned with whether SIRE would enhance the retrieval of perceptual item-specific information in subject groups in which such effects have been most robust in the first place.

  2. 2.

    Examples of the stimuli can be found in ‘Koutstaal, W. (2006). Flexible remembering. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 13, 84–91’. The hyperlink to the paper is https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.3758%2FBF03193817.pdf.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Wilma Koutstaal for providing the stimulus materials used in this experiment and to Sarah Relph for assisting with stimulus set construction and data collection.

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Research was conducted in the absence of any funding.

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Parker, A., Poole, J. & Dagnall, N. Saccade-induced retrieval enhancement and the recovery of perceptual item-specific information. Cogn Process 21, 223–237 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10339-019-00943-w

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Keywords

  • SIRE effects
  • Perceptual memory
  • False memory
  • Item-specific memory
  • Recollection