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Department of Psychology Cognitive Psychology

The mind's eye in episodic memory: Looking at things that are no longer there

LAN describes the behaviour of looking at empty spatial locations when retrieving information from memory that has been associated with a spatial location during encoding. For instance, when telling someone about something written on a whiteboard, one likely looks at or even points toward the whiteboard that contained the information, even if it has since been cleaned and is now empty. Besides a remarkable robustness of the behaviour the underlying processes are not well understood. The proposed research aims to understand the retrieval processes leading to LAN with a special focus on attention. In behavioural laboratory experiments, we test whether, attention plays a role in producing LAN and if it does whether it can be dissociated from that of eye movements. Furthermore, we aim to test, if LAN is under voluntary control.

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