Given the widespread evidence for the importance of the motor system in conceptual memory and language processing, we investigated if action affordances also play a role in visual working memory for objects. Familiar (Experiment 1) and novel (Experiment 2) objects were presented in an N-back working memory task. The potential role of affordances was investigated by presenting manipulable (e.g., fork) and nonmanipulable (e.g., chimney) objects. Results showed that a concurrent motor task did not interfere differently with memory for objects with and without affordances. We conclude that motor affordances play no role in visual working memory.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,,
Journal of Cognitive Psychology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Pecher, D., de Klerk, R., Klever, L., Post, S., van Reenen, J., & Vonk, M. (2013). The role of affordances for working memory for objects. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 25(1), 107–118. doi:10.1080/20445911.2012.750324