Animates engender robust memory representations in adults and young children

Autor(en): Loucks, Jeff
Verrett, Kaitlyn
Reise, Berit
Stichwörter: ADAPTIVE MEMORY; Animacy; Animate monitoring; BIOLOGICAL MOTION; GOAL; Imitation; Language; Memory; OBJECTS; PERCEPTION; Psychology; Psychology, Experimental
Erscheinungsdatum: 2020
Herausgeber: ELSEVIER
Volumen: 201
The animate monitoring hypothesis proposes that humans are predisposed to attend preferentially to animate entities in the environment (New, Cosmides, & Tooby, 2007). However, there have to date been no developmental investigations of animate monitoring in younger populations, despite the relevance of such evidence to this hypothesis. Here we demonstrate that adults and preschoolers recall a novel sequence of action with greater fidelity if it involves an animate over an inanimate. Experiments 1 (adults) and 2 (preschoolers) provide initial support for this phenomena, when a familiar animate (a dog) is used in the sequence instead of a block. Experiment 2 also revealed that a beetle is not clearly superior to a block, hinting at a possible hierarchy of animacy. Experiment 3 provided the clearest evidence for this memory advantage in preschoolers, when a novel animate that was perceptually identical to two other inanimate controls enhanced memory for the sequence. These results indicate that animate monitoring does not require extensive experience to develop, and could possibly be the result of innate dispositions.
ISSN: 00100277
DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104284

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