Word‐to‐picture recognition is a function of motor components mappings at the stage of retrieval

Denis Brouillet, Thibaut Brouillet, Audrey Milhau, Loïc Heurley, Caroline Vagnot, Lionel Brunel
Published Online:
03 Sep 2015
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 51 Issue 5

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Embodied approaches of cognition argue that retrieval involves the re‐enactment of both sensory and motor components of the desired remembering. In this study, we investigated the effect of motor action performed to produce the response in a recognition task when this action is compatible with the affordance of the objects that have to be recognised. In our experiment, participants were first asked to learn a list of words referring to graspable objects, and then told to make recognition judgements on pictures. The pictures represented objects where the graspable part was either pointing to the same or to the opposite side of the “Yes” response key. Results show a robust effect of compatibility between objects affordance and response hand. Moreover, this compatibility improves participants' ability of discrimination, suggesting that motor components are relevant cue for memory judgement at the stage of retrieval in a recognition task. More broadly, our data highlight that memory judgements are a function of motor components mappings at the stage of retrieval.

© 2015 International Union of Psychological Science