Haptic experiences influence visually acquired memories: Reference frames during multimodal spatial learning
AuthorKelly, Jonathan W.
Avraamides, Marios N.
Giudice, N. A.
SourcePsychonomic Bulletin and Review
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In two experiments, we investigated whether reference frames acquired through touch could influence memories for locations learned through vision. Participants learned two objects through touch, and haptic egocentric (Experiment 1) and environmental (Experiment 2) cues encouraged selection of a specific reference frame. Participants later learned eight new objects through vision. Haptic cues were manipulated, whereas visual learning was held constant in order to observe any potential influence of the haptically experienced reference frame on memories for visually learned locations. When the haptically experienced reference frame was defined primarily by egocentric cues, cue manipulation had no effect on memories for objects learned through vision. Instead, visually learned locations were remembered using a reference frame selected from the visual study perspective. When the haptically experienced reference frame was defined by both egocentric and environmental cues, visually learned objects were remembered in the context of the haptically experienced reference frame. These findings support the common reference frame hypothesis, which proposes that locations learned through different sensory modalities are represented within a common reference frame. © 2011 Psychonomic Society, Inc.