Language and memory for object location

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In three experiments, we investigated the influence of two types of language on memory for object location: demonstratives (this, that) and possessives (my, your). Participants first read instructions containing demonstratives/possessives to place objects at different locations, and then had to recall those object locations (following object removal). Experiments 1 and 2 tested contrasting predictions of two possible accounts of language on object location memory: the Expectation Model (Coventry, Griffiths, & Hamilton, 2014) and the congruence account (Bonfiglioli, Finocchiaro, Gesierich, Rositani, & Vescovi, 2009). In Experiment 3, the role of attention allocation as a possible mechanism was investigated. Results across all three experiments show striking effects of language on object location memory, with the pattern of data supporting the Expectation Model. In this model, the expected location cued by language and the actual location are concatenated leading to (mis)memory for object location, consistent with models of predictive coding (Bar, 2009; Friston, 2003).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-107
Number of pages9
Early online date11 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • memory
  • object location
  • spatial demonstratives
  • possessives
  • peripersonal/extrapersonal space

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