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Creation date: 2017-05-23
Creation time: 12-50-19
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How to best name a place? Facilitation and inhibition of route learning due to descriptive and arbitrary location labels
Frontiers in Psychology
Establishing verbal memory traces for non-verbal stimuli was reported to facilitate or inhibit memory for the non-verbal stimuli. We show that these effects are also observed in a domain not indicated before – wayfinding. Fifty-three participants followed a guided route in a virtual environment. They were asked to remember half of the intersections by relying on the visual impression only. At the other 50% of the intersections, participants additionally heard a place name, which they were asked to memorize. For testing, participants were teleported to the intersections and were asked to indicate the subsequent direction of the learned route. In Experiment 1, intersections’ names were arbitrary (i.e., not related to the visual impression). Here, participants performed more accurately at unnamed intersections. In Experiment 2, intersections’ names were descriptive and participants’ route memory was more accurate at named intersections. Results have implications for naming places in a city and for wayfinding aids.
Place naming: examining the influence of language on wayfinding
We asked the question how language influences a presumably embodied system such as human wayfinding. To test this, participants walked along a route in a virtual environment. They were asked to remember half of the intersections by what they saw. At the other 50% of intersections they heard an arbitrary name which they also had to remember. In the test phase they were teleported to different intersections and had to indicate the direction the route went on. At intersections without a name they performed faster and more accurately. In a second experiment meaningful names were used instead. Participants now performed better at named intersection. The results indicate an interaction between language and the presumably embodied wayfinding system. This interaction cannot be explained by a limited common resource, depth of processing, overshadowing, or linguistic scaffolding. However, it is consistent with dual coding.
Taatgen, N. , H. van Rijn
Cognitive Science Society
Austin, TX, USA
31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2009)
Long-Term Memory for Environmental Spaces: the Case of Orientation Specificity
This study examined orientation specificity in human long-term memory for environmental
spaces, and was designed to disambiguate between three theories concerning the organisation
of memory: reference direction theory [e.g., 1], view dependent theory [e.g., 2] and a theory
assuming orientation-independency [e.g., 3]. Participants learned an immersive virtual environment
by walking in one direction. The environment consisted of seven corridors within
which target objects were located. In the testing phase, participants were teleported to different
locations in the environment and were asked to identify their location and heading and then to
point towards previously learned targets. In experiment 1 eighteen participants could see the
whole corridor and were able to turn their head during the testing phase, whereas in experiment
2 visibility was limited and the twenty participants were asked to not turn their heads
during pointing. Reference direction theory assumes a global reference direction underlying
the memory of the whole layout and would predict better performance when oriented in the
global reference direction. However, no support was found for the reference direction theory.
Instead, as predicted by view-dependent theories, participants pointed more accurately when
oriented in the direction in which they originally learned each corridor, even when visibility
was limited to one meter for all orientations (all results p<.05). When the whole corridor
was visible, participants also self-localised faster when oriented in the learned direction. In
direct comparison participants pointed more accurately when facing the learned direction instead
of the global reference direction. With the corridors visible they also self-localised faster.
No support was found for an exclusive orientation-independent memory as performance was
orientation-dependent with respect to the learned orientation. We propose a ‘network of reference
frames’ theory which extends the view-dependent theory by stating how locations learned
from different views are connected within a spatial network. This theory is able to integrate
elements of the different theoretical positions.
10th Tübinger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK 2007)
Orientation biases in memory for vista and environmental spaces
This experiment tested whether vista spaces such as rooms or plazas are encoded differently in memory compared to environmental spaces such as buildings or cities. Participants learned an immersive virtual environment by walking through it in one direction. The environment consisted of seven corridors forming a labyrinth within which target objects were located. The participants either learned this environmental space alone, or distant mountains provided additional compass information. In a third condition, this labyrinth was located within a big hall (i.e., a vista space) which allowed self-localisation with respect to the vista space of the hall. In the testing phase, participants were teleported to different locations in the environment and were asked to identify their location and heading first, and then to point towards previously learned targets. In general, participants self localized faster when oriented in the direction in which they originally learned each corridor. However, a subset of participants showed a different orientation specificity in their pointing performance originating more from the orientation of the mountains or the hall. These participants were identified in catch trials after the experiment. The results are first hints for a difference in memory for vista and environmental spaces.
9. Fachtagung der Gesellschaft für Kognitionswissenschaft (KogWis '08)