Spatial Clustering During Memory Search

Journal of Experimental Psychology Learning Memory and Cognition (Impact Factor: 2.86). 08/2012; 39(3). DOI: 10.1037/a0029684
Source: PubMed


In recalling a list of previously experienced items, participants are known to organize their responses on the basis of the items' semantic and temporal similarities. Here, we examine how spatial information influences the organization of responses in free recall. In Experiment 1, participants studied and subsequently recalled lists of landmarks. In Experiment 2, participants played a game in which they delivered objects to landmarks in a virtual environment and later recalled the delivered objects. Participants in both experiments were simply asked to recall as many items as they could remember in any order. By analyzing the conditional probabilities of recall transitions, we demonstrate strong spatial and temporal organization of studied items in both experiments. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).

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    • "The importance of spatial behaviour and physical movement in memory processes is widely acknowledged in the psychological literature [1], [2], [3], [4]. Yet, in the Digital Heritage field, such components have not been taken sufficiently into account in the design of human data interaction systems. "
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    ABSTRACT: The key role that space and spatial organization of content play in memory has been taken very little into account in the design of human-data interaction systems. Here, we present a location based Augmented Reality application for the exploration and visualization of historical files, which is based on the argument that the embodied interaction with content by moving in the real, physical space will enhance its recollection from memory and comprehension. Our software architecture integrates a historical 3D reconstruction with geo referenced historical documents, as well as specific guidance components for narrative generation. All content of the application database is spatialized and can be navigated in a completely free/exploratory mode or in a passive/guided mode. We present the results of an experiment comparing spatial memory performance in the two modes. Our data confirms previous findings in the spatial navigation literature, suggesting that active exploration of an environment leads to a better spatial understanding of it.
    Digital Heritage International Congress 2015; 09/2015
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    • "First, if emotional items activate emotion features in context during study, and those features are reactivated during retrieval, then recall of an emotional item should be followed by consecutive recall of other emotional items, since they have similar contexts as the result of their shared emotional features. Such an " emotional " clustering effect falls naturally out of retrieved context theories (Howard & Kahana, 2002) and is in line with other clustering phenomena, whereby individuals organize their memories by semantic, episodic and spatial associations (Bousfield, 1953; Kahana, 1996; Miller et al., 2013). Previous work has suggested that emotional clustering only occurs when participants are explicitly oriented to the emotionality of items (Siddiqui & Unsworth, 2011); however, the use of many emotional items may have altered participants' strategies and interfered with a context mechanism. "
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    ABSTRACT: Memory is often better for emotional rather than neutral stimuli. The benefit for emotional items could be the result of an associative mechanism whereby items are associated to a slowly updating context. Through this process, emotional features are integrated with context during study, and are reactivated during test. The presence of emotion in context would both provide a stronger retrieval cue, enhancing memory of emotional items, as well as lead to emotional clustering, whereby emotionally similar items are recalled consecutively. To measure whether associative mechanisms can explain the enhancement for emotional items, we conducted a free recall study in which most items were emotionally neutral to minimize effects of mood induction and to more closely reflect naturalistic settings. We found that emotional items were significantly more likely to be recalled than neutral items and that participants were more likely to transition between emotional items rather than between emotional and neutral items. Together, these results suggest that contextual encoding and retrieval mechanisms may drive the benefit for emotional items both within and outside the laboratory.
    Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 01/2015; 22(5). DOI:10.3758/s13423-014-0791-2 · 2.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent advances in neuroimaging and neural recording techniques have enabled researchers to make significant progress in understanding the neural mechanisms underlying human spatial navigation. Because these techniques generally require participants to remain stationary, computer-generated virtual environments are used. We introduce PandaEPL, a programming library for the Python language designed to simplify the creation of computer-controlled spatial-navigation experiments. PandaEPL is built on top of Panda3D, a modern open-source game engine. It allows users to construct three-dimensional environments that participants can navigate from a first-person perspective. Sound playback and recording and also joystick support are provided through the use of additional optional libraries. PandaEPL also handles many tasks common to all cognitive experiments, including managing configuration files, logging all internal and participant-generated events, and keeping track of the experiment state. We describe how PandaEPL compares with other software for building spatial-navigation experiments and walk the reader through the process of creating a fully functional experiment.
    Behavior Research Methods 04/2013; 45(4). DOI:10.3758/s13428-013-0322-5 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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