Event memory uniquely predicts memory for large-scale space

Jesse Q. Sargent, Jeffrey M. Zacks, David Z. Hambrick, Nan Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


When a person explores a new environment, they begin to construct a spatial representation of it. Doing so is important for navigating and remaining oriented. How does one’s ability to learn a new environment relate to one’s ability to remember experiences in that environment? Here, 208 adults experienced a first-person videotaped route, and then completed a spatial map construction task. They also took tests of general cognitive abilities (working memory, laboratory episodic memory, processing speed, general knowledge) and of memory for familiar, everyday activities (event memory). Regression analyses revealed that event memory (memory for everyday events and their temporal structure), laboratory episodic memory (memory for words and pictures) and gender were unique predictors of spatial memory. These results implicate the processing of temporal structure and organization as an important cognitive ability in large-scale spatial-memory-from-route experience. Accounting for the temporal structure of people’s experience while learning the layout of novel spaces may improve interventions for addressing navigation problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-228
Number of pages17
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 15 2019


  • Individual differences
  • Memory
  • Spatial cognition


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