Article

Body Posture Facilitates Retrieval of Autobiographical Memories

Department of Psychology, Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1270, USA.
Cognition (Impact Factor: 3.63). 02/2007; 102(1):139-49. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2005.12.009
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We assessed potential facilitation of congruent body posture on access to and retention of autobiographical memories in younger and older adults. Response times were shorter when body positions during prompted retrieval of autobiographical events were similar to the body positions in the original events than when body position was incongruent. Free recall of the autobiographical events two weeks later was also better for congruent-posture than for incongruent-posture memories. The findings were similar for younger and older adults, except for the finding that free recall was more accurate in younger adults than in older adults in the congruent condition. We discuss these findings in the context of theories of embodied cognition.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Rolf A Zwaan, Sep 01, 2015
2 Followers
 · 
377 Views
 · 
116 Downloads
  • Source
    • "Error rates for mental imagery tasks involving inspection are lowest when individuals are in a horizontal position (lying on one's side, right ear down), whereas in tasks of composition, errors are lowest when the individual is in supine position (lying on one's back) (Mast et al. 2003). In the memory domain, positive thoughts are more readily recalled while seated in an upright versus a slumped position (Wilson and Peper 2004) and retrieval of events is quicker when the current body posture is congruent with that of the event recalled (Dijkstra et al. 2007). A memory of waving to a person is recalled more quickly while actually standing up and waving. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The embodied cognition perspective has provided a formalization of the idea that the motor state is a characteristic of being that permeates all of human processing. We review this perspective and experimental evidence supporting its claim. It is further considered that the motor behaving human moves within various spaces, each affording different actions. To this end, it is proposed that the environmental surround is a critical variable in the embodied cognition perspective. Thoughts, inasmuch as they may be grounded in simulation of motor-behavioural responses, require time but also space. We suggest that these time-space considerations occur within a proposed concept of the potentiated state.
    Cognitive Processing 08/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10339-015-0683-z · 1.57 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "As predicted by embodiment, several studies found that the body itself influences cognition (Casasanto, 2011; Osiurak et al., 2014). One study found that our body posture influence the retrieval of autobiographical memories in both young and older adults (Dijkstra et al., 2007). This suggests that memories depend on the context of the body as predicted by the embodied cognition theories. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Embodiment is revolutionizing the way we consider cognition by incorporating the influence of our body and of the current context within cognitive processing. A growing number of studies which support this view of cognition in young adults stands in stark contrast with the lack of evidence in favor of this view in the field of normal aging and neurocognitive disorders. Nonetheless, the validation of embodiment assumptions on the whole spectrum of cognition is a mandatory step in order for embodied cognition theories to become theories of human cognition. More pragmatically, aging populations represent a perfect target to test embodied cognition theories due to concomitant changes in sensory, motor and cognitive functioning that occur in aging, since these theories predict direct interactions between them. Finally, the new perspectives on cognition provided by these theories might also open new research avenues and new clinical applications in the field of aging. The present article aims at showing the value and interest to explore embodiment in normal and abnormal aging as well as introducing some potential theoretical and clinical applications.
    Frontiers in Psychology 04/2015; 6:463. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00463 · 2.80 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Riskind (1984) found that an upright posture vs. a slumped posture boosted either pleasant or unpleasant memories, Foerster and Strack (1996) found that nodding or shaking one's head influenced the memory for positive vs. negative words, and Dijkstra et al. (2007) demonstrated that body position affected the recall of autobiographical memories. They described the memories to be " easier to access if the body position is similar to the one in the original experience " (Dijkstra et al., 2007: 146), that is, state-dependent memory would be specified into a posture congruent memory, facilitating the reconstruction of autobiographical memories. According to Bietti (2013), these findings suggest that the body posture in which the experience was acquired is contained in the multimodal memory trace of the experience stored in the brain, and provides evidence concerning the multidimensional nature of memory traces. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: What influence does body memory from two different movement qualities have on affect and cognition? This article relates the phenomenological theory of body memory, movement observation theory from dance, and psychological conceptual and empirical work on body feedback i . Body feedback means afferent feedback from the body's peripheral movements to the higher cortical functions, such as the systematic effects of the adoption of certain gestures or postures on the memory for life events (e.g., Riskind, 1984). Meaning of movements is stored in the body in relation to our learning history --ontogenetic as well as phylogenetic. For such incidences of body memory, phenomenology has recently put forth a theoretical framework (Fuchs, 2012). On the basis of this framework, we hypothesize that specific movement qualities will have a differential impact on affect and cognition. In accordance with our hypotheses, results suggest that strong movements are related to more fighting affect and more negative memory recall, whereas light movements are more closely related to a non-movement 2 control condition, to more indulgent affect and more positive memory recall. Results are discussed with respect to the phenomenological framework.
    Memory Studies 06/2014; 7(3):272-284. DOI:10.1177/1750698014530618 · 1.07 Impact Factor
Show more