Memory for object location and route direction in virtual large-scale space
Memory for object location and route direction in virtual large-scale space. Ouarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59
(3), 493-508. doi:10.1080/02724980443000746.
In everyday life people have to deal with tasks such as finding a novel path to a certain goal location,
finding one’s way back, finding a short cut, or making a detour. In all of these tasks people acquire
route knowledge. For finding the same way back they have to remember locations of objects like
buildings and additionally direction changes. In three experiments using recognition tasks as well
as conscious and unconscious spatial priming paradigms memory processes underlying wayfinding
behaviour were investigated. Participants learned a route through a virtual environment with
objects either placed at intersections (i.e., decision points) where another route could be chosen or
placed along the route (non-decision points). Analyses indicate first that objects placed at decision
points are recognized faster than other objects. Second, they indicate that the direction in which a
route is travelled is represented only at locations that are relevant for wayfinding (e.g., decision
points). The results point out the efficient way in which memory for object location and memory
for route direction interact.
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