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Shape of U: The Nonmonotonic Relationship Between Object-Location Memory and Expectedness.

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Quent, Jörn Alexander  ORCID logo
Greve, Andrea 
Henson, Richard N 


The schema-linked interactions between medial prefrontal and medial temporal lobe (SLIMM) model predicts that memory for object locations is a U-shaped function of the expectancy of those locations. Using immersive virtual reality, we presented participants with 20 objects in locations that varied in their congruency with a kitchen schema. Bayes factors across four experiments (137 adults in total) confirmed the (preregistered) prediction of better memory for highly expected and unexpected locations relative to neutral locations. This U shape was found in location recall and in forced-choice recognition in which the foil locations were matched for expectancy, controlling for the bias toward guessing expected locations. A second prediction was that the two ends of the U shape are associated with different expressions of memory: recollection of unexpected locations and familiarity for expected locations. BFs, propagated across experiments, provided evidence against this second prediction; recollection was associated with both ends of the U shape. These findings further constrain theories about the role of schema in episodic memory.


Peer reviewed: True

Funder: Gates Cambridge Trust; FundRef:


memory, open data, open materials, prediction error, preregistered, schema, virtual reality, Adult, Humans, Bayes Theorem, Recognition, Psychology, Mental Recall, Temporal Lobe, Memory, Episodic

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Psychol Sci

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SAGE Publications
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00005/8)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00030/8)