Investigating the underlying mechanisms of the Enactment Effect: The role of action-object bindings in aiding immediate memory performance

Angeliki Makri*, Christopher Jarrold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
110 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Previous research has established that enacted action-object phrases lead to superior immediate memory performance compared to purely verbal memory. In the current investigation, Experiment 1 examined how enactment separately affects immediate memory for actions and objects in 24 adults by presenting action-object phrases and asking participants to recall either the actions or the objects presented in correct serial order. The results showed that when employed at presentation, enactment led to superior recall performance compared to verbal repetition, but this effect was significant only for memory for actions and not objects. Enactment during immediate recall did not lead to better memory performance compared to verbal recall for either actions or objects. In order to examine whether the lack of an enactment at recall was due to the splitting of action-object phrases at retrieval, Experiment 2 (n=24) examined memory for whole action-object phrases under enactment at recall. The results showed a typical enactment at recall benefit. Furthermore, a novel binding analysis suggested that enactment recall increased the likelihood of action features being remembered in a bound pair rather than alone. Together these findings suggest that action-object bindings play a crucial role in the manifestation of the enactment effect in immediate recall, especially when enactment is employed at the recall phase.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2084-2096
Number of pages13
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Volume74
Issue number12
Early online date26 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Maya Fernandez-Long, Alex Lord, and Katherine Wallis for their assistance in collecting the data reported in Experiment 2. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Part of this work was completed as part of the first author?s PhD thesis at the University of Bristol which was supported by funding from the Leverhulme Trust.

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Part of this work was completed as part of the first author’s PhD thesis at the University of Bristol which was supported by funding from the Leverhulme Trust.

Publisher Copyright:
© Experimental Psychology Society 2021.

Keywords

  • enactment
  • working memory
  • binding
  • action memory

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