Coupling kinematics of memory and kinematics of movement: The conditions for a psychological relativity

  • Sarrazin Jean-Christophe
  • Giraudo Marie-Dominique
  • Vercher Jean-Louis

  • Memory
  • Movement
  • Kinematics
  • Space-time


The organization of spatial and temporal information relative to memory-movement interactions was studied in a recall task. Stimuli consisted of four different configurations of eight dots, presented sequentially. In two configurations, the stimuli were spatiotemporal congruent, with (constant or variable) inter-stimulus distances corresponding to (constant or variable) inter-stimulus time intervals. In the other two configurations, the stimuli were spatiotemporal incongruent, with (constant or variable) inter-stimulus distances not corresponding to (variable or constant) inter-stimulus time intervals. After a learning phase consisting of 20 presentations of the target configuration, participants performed a series of pointing movements to reproduce both spatial and temporal characteristics of the stimulus 60 times in succession without ever re-examining the target configuration. Classically, in incongruent spatiotemporal conditions, the reproduction of, respectively, constant distances or constant time intervals are strongly disturbed by the simultaneous perception of variable inter-stimulus time intervals (Tau effect) or variable distances (Kappa effect). We assume that these spatiotemporal dependencies, which occur when the response relates to one dimension only, crucially depend on the non-integration of motoric aspects in memory. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.