Integrating Emotional Content within Visuospatial Working Memory
Siegel, Alexander L.
- Prior research has shown that visuospatial working memory ability can be affected by a variety of factors including age, emotion, and spatial organization. Visuospatial working memory has been shown to decline as we age, but could be enhanced by the emotionality of to-be-remembered information. Spatial organization has also been shown to aid location memory. The current study examined how these fa... read morectors differentially affect visual working memory, spatial working memory, and binding. Participants were recruited online via Amazon Mechanical Turk and then split into three different age groups (younger, middle, and older adults). Participants were shown a series of grids containing objects in specific locations. They were then asked about the identity of objects within the grid, the location of objects, or a combination of these features. We found that, consistent with previous research, spatial organization aided memory for the location of objects. We also found that participants were more likely to rely on gist memory when the tested on the identity of negative objects. Finally, we found that emotional arousal helped facilitate the binding of visual and spatial features, but only when the information was presented in a spatially organized configuration.read less