Poster E113, Monday, March 26, 2:30-4:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
The Enactment Effect: A Meta-Analysis
Brady Roberts1, Myra Fernandes1, Colin MacLeod1; 1University of Waterloo
The enactment effect refers to the finding that physically performing an action that represents a word results in better memory than simply reading the word. A three-pronged meta-analytic technique was used to investigate the mnemonic benefit of enactment using data from 70 behavioural, 8 neuroimaging, and 18 patient studies. Sample-size weighted statistical tests were performed to highlight patterns found across 225 effect sizes in the 70 behavioural studies. The memory boost from enactment as an encoding strategy was compared to that produced from watching the experimenter perform the action, engaging in self-generated imagery, and reading words. It was found that performing the task yourself led to comparable memory as watching the experimenter perform the task, and both led to enhanced memory relative to only reading words. The magnitude of benefit from enactment was maintained, regardless of the delay between study and test, regardless of whether the memory test followed intentional versus incidental encoding, and regardless of whether real objects were used for actions. Finally, the boost to memory was also significant whether investigated using between- or within-subject designs. Neuroimaging results revealed significant activation in both pre- and primary motor cortices, as well as the supramarginal gyrus, when retrieving information that was enacted during encoding. The enactment effect was also found across a variety of patient groups, though smaller in magnitude, and remained stable even in those with clinically significant motor impairments. Overall, the enactment effect has proven to be a robust, consistently replicated finding in both healthy and clinical populations.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Semantic