Spontaneous memory strategies in a videogame simulating everyday memory tasks

Matti Laine*, Jussi Jylkkä, Liisa Ritakallio, Tilda Eräste, Suvi Kangas, Alexandra Hering, Sascha Zuber, Matthias Kliegel, Daniel Fellman, Juha Salmi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


People can use different internal strategies to manage their daily tasks, but systematic research on these strategies and their significance for actual performance is still quite sparse. Here we examined self-reported internal strategy use with a 10-block version of the videogame EPELI (Executive Performance in Everyday LIving) in a group of 202 neurotypical adults of 18–50 years of age. In the game, participants perform lists of everyday tasks from memory while navigating in a virtual apartment. Open-ended strategy reports were collected after each EPELI task block, and for comparison also after an EPELI Instruction Recall task and a Word List Learning task assessing episodic memory. On average, 45% of the participants reported using some strategy in EPELI, the most common types being grouping (e.g., performing the tasks room by room), utilising a familiar action schema, and condensing information (e.g., memorising only keywords). Our pre-registered hypothesis on the beneficial effect of self-initiated strategy use gained support, as strategy users showed better performance on EPELI as compared with no strategy users. One of the strategies, grouping, was identified as a clearly effective strategy type. Block-by-block transitions suggested gradual stabilisation of strategy use over the 10 EPELI blocks. The proneness to use strategies showed a weak but reliable association between EPELI and Word List Learning. Overall, the present results highlight the importance of internal strategy use for understanding individual differences in memory performance, as well as the potential benefit for internal strategy employment when faced with everyday memory tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-625
Issue number3
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • everyday behaviour
  • executive functions
  • mnemonics
  • Prospective memory
  • serious gaming
  • strategies
  • videogaming


Dive into the research topics of 'Spontaneous memory strategies in a videogame simulating everyday memory tasks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this