ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (Suppl.): 10-.

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Do you Remember Planting a Wallet? Enactment and Bizarreness Enhances the Contribution of Familiarity to Associative Recognition

ZHAO Min-Fang; Hubert D. ZIMMER; LI He; FU Xiaolan   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, 100101
    University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101
    Department of Psychology, Brain and Cognition Unit, Saarland University, Saarbruecken, Germany, 66123
  • Online:2016-12-31 Published:2016-12-31


PURPOSE: Memory for actions in recognition memory is usually better in a subject performed task (SPT, self-performing actions on verbal commands) than after verbal encoding (verbal task, VT), which is known as “SPT effect”. In the current study, we aim to investigate whether the SPT e?ect and memory processes during associative recognition were influenced by the strength of the pre-existing associations between action and object.
METHODS: During the study phase, participants studied ordinary verb-object pairs (e.g., “cut the watermelon”) and bizarre verb-object pairs (e.g., “plant the hammer”) in a SPT or VT condition. During testing, they discriminated between intact (old), recombined, and new items and made Remember/Know judgments; in addition, their EEGs were recorded.
RESULTS: Associative recognition was better following SPT than VT. The interaction between type of phrases and encoding condition suggested that only in the VT condition, bizarre phrases were better recognized than ordinary phrases. For ordinary phrases, early frontal ERPs (the signature of familiarity) to intact phrases were more positive than recombined and new phrases (intact > recombined = new) following SPT, but no such e?ects were found after VT. Late parietal ERPs (the signature of recollection) were graded following SPT (intact > recombined > new), whereas these late e?ects were smaller and did not di?er between intact and recombined items following VT. For bizarre phrases, both early frontal ERPs and late parietal ERPs to intact phrases were more positive than those to new phrases following both SPT and VT. However, following VT, late parietal ERPs to intact phrases were more positive than recombined phrases.
CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that enactment unitized the action and object so that familiarity further enhances associative recognition for ordinary phrases in the SPT condition. Bizarreness encourages familiarity only after VT, which led to bizarreness e?ect in the VT condition.

Key words: memory for action, SPT effect, bizarreness, associative recognition, familiarity