Spatial but not oculomotor information biases perceptual memory. Evidence from face perception and cognitive modeling

Wantz, Andrea L.; Lobmaier, Janek S.; Mast, Fred W.; Senn, Walter (2017). Spatial but not oculomotor information biases perceptual memory. Evidence from face perception and cognitive modeling. Cognitive science, 41(6), pp. 1533-1554. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/cogs.12437

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Recent research put forward the hypothesis that eye movements are integrated in memory representations and are reactivated when later recalled. However, “looking back to nothing” during recall might be a consequence of spatial memory retrieval. Here, we aimed at distinguishing between the effect of spatial and oculomotor information on perceptual memory. Participants’ task was to judge whether a morph looked rather like the first or second previously presented face. Crucially, faces and morphs were presented in a way that the morph reactivated oculomotor and/or spatial information associated with one of the previously encoded faces. Perceptual face memory was largely influenced by these manipulations. We considered a simple computational model with an excellent match (4.3% error) that expresses these biases as a linear combination of recency, saccade, and location. Surprisingly, saccades did not play a role. The results suggest that spatial and temporal rather than oculomotor information biases perceptual face memory.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Physiology

UniBE Contributor:

Wantz, Andrea Laura; Lobmaier, Janek; Mast, Fred and Senn, Walter


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Stefan von Känel-Zimmermann

Date Deposited:

16 Mar 2017 08:24

Last Modified:

30 Oct 2019 13:02

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Eye movements; Memory; Perceptual memory; Cognitive model




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