Coupling Perception with Action: A Dynamic Account of the Effect of Action on Memory

AbstractPerception-action processes are closely related to memory, as perceptual input often recruits memories for action. Unknown, however, is how the engagement of perception-action processes impact memory formation. One such interaction suggests participants have worse memory recall for stimuli which elicit inhibition of a motor response than stimuli which afford the execution of a motor response (Chiu & Egner, 2015). This effect has been explained through competition for neural resources: allocation of resources toward response inhibition reduces the amount of resources available for memory. Alternatively, this effect could be driven at the level of perception-action coupling: pairing the motor system with visual perception enhances the memory of stimuli which elicited the motor preparation or response. To test these hypotheses, we first replicated Chiu and Egner (2015). In Experiment 2, we included neutral stimuli that did not necessitate motor preparation processes. Memory was enhanced for stimuli presented in conjunction with motor engagement.

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