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Visual long-term memory stores high-fidelity representations of observed actions.

Authors
  • Urgolites, Zhisen Jiang
  • Wood, Justin N
Type
Published Article
Journal
Psychological Science
Publisher
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2013
Volume
24
Issue
4
Pages
403–411
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/0956797612457375
PMID: 23436784
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The ability to remember others' actions is fundamental to social cognition, but the precision of action memories remains unknown. To probe the fidelity of the action representations stored in visual long-term memory, we asked observers to view a large number of computer-animated actions. Afterward, observers were shown pairs of actions and indicated which of the two actions they had seen for each pair. On some trials, the previously viewed action was paired with an action from a different action category, and on other trials, it was paired with an action from the same category. Accuracy on both types of trials was remarkably high (81% and 82%, respectively). Further, results from a second experiment showed that the action representations maintained in visual long-term memory can be nearly as precise as the action representations maintained in visual working memory. Together, these findings provide evidence for a mechanism in visual long-term memory that maintains high-fidelity representations of observed actions.

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