Article: article from journal or magazin.
Letter (letter): Communication to the publisher.
Multisensory context portends object memory.
Publication types: Letter Publication Status: ppublish Document Type: Letter
Multisensory processes facilitate perception of currently-presented stimuli and can likewise enhance later object recognition. Memories for objects originally encountered in a multisensory context can be more robust than those for objects encountered in an exclusively visual or auditory context , upturning the assumption that memory performance is best when encoding and recognition contexts remain constant . Here, we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to provide the first evidence for direct links between multisensory brain activity at one point in time and subsequent object discrimination abilities. Across two experiments we found that individuals showing a benefit and those impaired during later object discrimination could be predicted by their brain responses to multisensory stimuli upon their initial encounter. These effects were observed despite the multisensory information being meaningless, task-irrelevant, and presented only once. We provide critical insights into the advantages associated with multisensory interactions; they are not limited to the processing of current stimuli, but likewise encompass the ability to determine the benefit of one's memories for object recognition in later, unisensory contexts.
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