Episodic memory and self-reference in a naturalistic context: New insights based on a virtual walk in the Latin Quarter of Paris - Université Paris Cité Access content directly
Journal Articles (Data Paper) Journal of Environmental Psychology Year : 2022

Episodic memory and self-reference in a naturalistic context: New insights based on a virtual walk in the Latin Quarter of Paris

S. Penaud
  • Function : Author
N. Jebara
  • Function : Author
M. Zaoui
  • Function : Author
E. Orriols
  • Function : Author
A. Berthoz
  • Function : Author
P. Piolino

Abstract

Although it is now well-known that self-reference processing benefits the episodic memory of laboratory material, studies have rarely investigated its influence on memory for specific episodes in a naturalistic context. We immersed 64 healthy young participants who were personally either very familiar or unfamiliar with the Latin Quarter of Paris in a virtual environment resembling it. They all navigated using a joystick and memorized as many specific events as possible encountered in this environment, together with their perceptual details and spatial and temporal context. However, one group was assigned to a self-perspective condition (i.e., centered on their own interaction with the environment) and another to a condition requiring the mental simulation of an other-perspective (i.e., centered on the interaction of an avatar with the environment) during the period of navigation and the subsequent memory retrieval tasks. The main results showed that both high personal familiarity (irrespective of the perspective) and a self-perspective (irrespective of the familiarity) improved the recall and recognition of specific events and their spatiotemporal contexts and the sense of remembering. Specifically, high personal familiarity was the most efficient condition for improving the memory of allocentric spatial context while, conversely, self-perspective was the most efficient for enhancing temporal context memory. An additive effect of self-perspective and high familiarity was observed regarding the memory of perceptual details and egocentric spatial context. These findings highlight the benefits of self-reference in episodic memory for specific events. They might help pave the way for the development of new perspectives for cognitive remediation of episodic memory encoding in daily life.
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hal-04024434 , version 1 (11-03-2023)

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S. Penaud, N. Jebara, M. Zaoui, E. Orriols, A. Berthoz, et al.. Episodic memory and self-reference in a naturalistic context: New insights based on a virtual walk in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 2022, 81, pp.101801. ⟨10.1016/j.jenvp.2022.101801⟩. ⟨hal-04024434⟩
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