Remembered together: Social interaction facilitates retrieval while reducing individuation of features within bound representations

Tim Vestner, Jonathan C Flavell, Richard Cook, Steven P Tipper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

When encountering social scenes, there appears to be rapid and automatic detection of social interactions. Representations of interacting people appear to be bound together via a mechanism of joint attention, which results in enhanced memory, even when participants are unaware that memory is required. However, even though access is facilitated for socially bound representations, we predicted that the individual features of these representations are less efficiently encoded, and features can therefore migrate between the constituent interacting individuals. This was confirmed in Experiment 1, where overall memory for interacting compared with non-interacting dyads was facilitated but binding of features within an individual was weak, resulting in feature migration errors. Experiment 2 demonstrated the role of conscious strategic processing, where participants were aware that memory would be tested. With such awareness, attention can be focused on individual objects allowing the binding of features. The results support an account of two forms of processing: an initial automatic social binding process where interacting individuals are represented as one episode in memory facilitating access and a further stage where attention can be focused on each individual enabling the binding of features within individual objects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1593-1602
Number of pages10
JournalQ J Exp Psychol (Hove)
Volume75
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Humans
  • Individuation
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Mental Recall
  • Social Interaction

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