ESCOP 2019

Open your mind’s eye: Sensorimotor simulation in episodic event construction


Date
Localisation
Tenerife, Espagne

Past events are not frozen into memory. Instead, they can be dynamically recombined to reconstruct them or, even, to imagine future events. Yet, very little is known about how event (re)construction is accomplished. From an embodied cognition perspective, we assessed whether event (re)construction occurs through the simulation/reactivation of sensorimotor properties of our past experiences. Young adults watched videos and received a specificity induction (an interview boosting the production of event-specific details) or solved math problems. Then, they described their memories of the videos while simultaneously viewing an interfering stimulus (dynamic visual noise; DVN) or a control stimulus. As expected, viewing a DVN during the description task has decreased the number of video-specific details reported, but only after the specificity induction. These findings provide evidence that the specificity induction targets and facilitates the sensorimotor simulation mechanism, confirming the crucial involvement of such a mechanism in the constructive functioning of memory.