Vertical Head Movements Influence Memory Performance for Words With Emotional Content

Globig, Laura K.; Hartmann, Matthias; Martarelli, Corinna S. (2019). Vertical Head Movements Influence Memory Performance for Words With Emotional Content. Frontiers in psychology, 10, p. 672. Frontiers Research Foundation 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00672

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Numerous studies have found an association between valence and the vertical dimension of space (good-up, bad-down). This association has also been linked to sensorimotor experiences (e.g., body movements). In this study, we investigated whether body movements along the vertical plane play an active role in the retrieval of positive and negative words (as well as words with a more explicit association with up and down). Twenty-five participants were presented with a list of nouns associated with space (e.g., satellite, underground) and a list of nouns associated with emotions (e.g., joy, war). Subsequently, they had to retrieve the words while performing vertical head movements. We found a vertical effect in that participants retrieved more positive words when moving their head upward and more negative words when moving the head downward. These results illustrate that overt body movements are indeed associated with emotional information and can thereby influence what we remember. We conclude that abstract concepts such as emotional representations are inherently linked to motor action and are grounded in space.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Social Neuroscience and Social Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Globig, Laura Katharina and Maalouli-Hartmann, Matthias

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology

ISSN:

1664-1078

Publisher:

Frontiers Research Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Matthias Maalouli-Hartmann

Date Deposited:

15 Apr 2020 16:07

Last Modified:

19 Apr 2020 02:53

Publisher DOI:

10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00672

PubMed ID:

30971992

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.142891

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/142891

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