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Poster B127

Visual details guide gaze reinstatement during recognition memory

Poster Session B - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Maureen Ritchey1, Tingwei Hu1, Hae Young Yi1, Paula Brooks1,2; 1Boston College, 2Princeton University

Memories are retrieved more easily when contextual cues from encoding are reinstated during retrieval. This basic principle is evident in individuals’ eye movement patterns during retrieval, such that reinstatement of encoding-related gaze patterns is associated with better memory outcomes. However, it remains unclear what kind of visual information drives gaze reinstatement and its effects on memory. In this study, we investigated how changes in the availability and spatial configuration of visual details during recognition memory affected gaze reinstatement. Retrieval probes were either identical to their encoding counterparts, horizontally flipped from encoding, or blurred to obscure their visual details. Across all retrieval conditions, there was evidence that eye movement patterns from encoding were reinstated during recognition. Although blurring the visual details of the retrieval probe significantly reduced gaze reinstatement, changing the spatial orientation of the probe also flipped the pattern of eye movements, leading to equivalent levels of adjusted gaze reinstatement in the flipped compared to intact condition. Furthermore, gaze reinstatement was related to memory only when the scene’s spatial orientation was flipped between encoding and retrieval. Our results suggest that the resampling of detailed visual features, regardless of their spatial configuration, accounts for the memory benefits of gaze reinstatement, informing the potential mechanisms connecting eye movements to memory processes.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic


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April 13–16  |  2024