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Recognition benefits from the reinstatement of a spatial representation of motoric processing

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This study investigated the effect of reinstating the spatial component of motoric processing on recognition memory. In 3 experiments, college students encoded digit strings during a study phase and recognized them during a test phase. During the study phase, participants viewed the digit strings and, in some cases, processed the items motorically by entering them on the numeric keypad of a keyboard. A recognition benefit was found when motoric processing at study was reinstated at test. Additional results showed that recognition could be based on a spatial analogue of the keypressing pattern used to encode the digit strings. These results suggest that the spatial component of a motoric response may serve as a recognition cue for an action. Consistent with the transfer-appropriate processing framework, reinstatement of the entry response or a spatial representation of it improved recognition by increasing the overlap between study and test processing.

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Received: 26 May 1996 / Accepted: 23 September 1997

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Fendrich, D. Recognition benefits from the reinstatement of a spatial representation of motoric processing. Psychological Research Psychologische Forschung 61, 125–134 (1998).

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  • College Student
  • Test Phase
  • Recognition Memory
  • Motoric Response
  • Study Phase