Bodily orientations and actions as constituent parts of remembering objects and intentions before leaving home
In this article we report an exploratory video-based analysis of bodily actions - specifically head movements and bodily orientations - of two older adults (+65) in their everyday life, as they are about to leave their homes. We show that action patterns can serve an adaptive function to monitor the physical surrounding of objects and spaces, and we argue that these adaptive functions assist prospective memory processes. First, we found that ongoing activities, some partially unrelated to the activity of leaving home, coupled with the structure of the physical environment could assist the participants in remembering intentions before leaving home. Second, we found that participants attended to, and therefore stayed in control of, important spaces and objects through targeted and redundant scanning of such important spaces. In the context of previous research on the effects of cognitive aging, we hypothesize that these bodily action patterns coupled with the efficient shaping of spaces can be important for the general older population to compensate for a decline in prospective memory ability.
embodied cognition; situated cognition; older adults; cognitive aging; prospective memory