Motor and visual codes interact to facilitate visuospatial memory performance
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The spatial working memory system constantly updates spatial representations and many studies have focused on the underlying principles of the encoding and maintenance of visual information. Here we investigated the question of how the production of actions influences spatial working memory. Participants were given a task that required concurrent maintenance of two spatial arrays, one encoded by visual observation accompanied with pointing movements, the other by only visual observation. Across two experiments, movement during encoding was found to facilitate recognition of spatial arrays in a load-dependent manner. The results suggest an action-based encoding principle within the working memory system, and possible underlying action-related mechanisms are discussed.
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