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Accueil > Séminaires

25/10/18 – Diane PECHER & René Zeelenberg

par Guillaume VALLET - publié le , mis à jour le

Effects of Motor Action on Memory for Objects &
Action Compatibility Effects : A Simon Effect in Disguise ?

Date : 25 octobre 2018
Heure : 10h30 - 12h00
Lieu : Amphithéâtre Paul Collomp

Résumé de la conférence

Consistent with the view that cognition is grounded in perception and action, semantic tasks on object pictures or language often show interactions with actions. The question is whether memory is also grounded in action. I will present several studies that investigated the role of motor actions in memory. In our studies participants studied object pictures or action verbs while performing concurrent tasks such as making hand movements. Although concurrent tasks did interfere with memory performance, in none of the experiments did I find any evidence that concurrent motor tasks affected memory differently for manipulable and non-manipulable objects. I conclude that episodic memory does not seem to rely much on the motor system.


Researchers have suggested that pictures of objects activate the motor actions that are compatible with the grasping actions that would be performed on a real object. Evidence consistent with this view comes from studies showing alignment and grasp compatibility effects. These studies have shown that responses to irrelevant stimulus properties, such as color or upright/inverted orientation, are faster if the response hand is on the same side as the object’s graspable part than if it is on the other side (i.e., the alignment effect). Likewise, responses are faster when the required response grip (e.g., precision grip) matches the grip that would be used on the object than when it does not match (i.e., the grasp compatibility effect). These findings have traditionally been interpreted as providing evidence for the view that object perception results in the automatic activation of specific actions associated with the object. An alternative view proposes that these effects are best explained by abstract spatial coding. In this view, alignment and grasp compatibility effects are variations of the standard Simon effect. In this talk I will review recent evidence from our lab that is consistent with this latter interpretation.

Conférencière/Conférencier

Dr. Diane PECHER et Dr. René Zeelenberg
Erasmus University Rotterdam
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