Contact

Thomas Hinterecker

Address: Max-Planck-Ring 8
72076 Tübingen
Room number: 009
Phone: +49 7071 601 615
Fax: +49 7071 601 616
E-Mail: thomas.hinterecker

 

Picture of Hinterecker, Thomas

Thomas Hinterecker

Position: PhD Student  Unit: Bülthoff

I'm a PhD student of the "Social and Spatial Cognition" group.


My research interests are focused on spatial memory for 3D space. My goal is to investigate whether human memory of horizontal and of vertical spatial information is encoded with equal quality. I'm also interested in the question of reference frames in memory of space with vertical information. I use virtual reality (e.g. Oculus Rift) and motion simulator (e.g., Cable Robot simulator) setups for this purpose.

 

I have a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Psychology, both from the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany. I'm a PhD student at the MPI since October 2015.

Memory quality of 3D space

 

Introduction

Previous studies on memory for spatial information focused on the horizontal dimension. However, we live and move in a three-dimensional (3D) world. Frequently, we travel on undulating terrain, navigate within multilevel buildings, and fly or dive in volumetric space. Yet, it is not well understood whether and how the human brain creates accurate representation of 3D space.

 

Goals

My goal is to investigate human spatial memory of horizontal and vertical spatial information. I want to elucidate experimentally whether such memory is isotropic (equal memory for horizontal and vertical space) or anisotropic (focus on the horizontal dimension, for instance).

 

Methods

I use(d) virtual reality (e.g., Oculus Rift) and motion simulator (e.g., Cable Robot Simulator) setups to test for (an)isotropy in 3D memory. In these, people have to learn spatial information along horizontal and vertical axes and have to recall these information from memory later on. Memory accuracy as a function of spatial dimension should then give insights in the quality of memory.

 

Initial results

We showed that memory for horizontal and vertical object locations does not differ when perceived from a single point of view. In contrast, when people have to memorize and recall traveled distances, an anisotropy occurs, with higher memory accuracy along the horizontal axes.

 

Initial conclusion

Memory for horizontal and vertical spatial information does not differ per se. It might depend on how people have perceived the space (moving vs. viewing) or on how the space is structured (continous vs. regular space). Future studies will address these questions.

Education

2015 – present

PhD Student at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics; Social and Spatial Cognition Group

2013 – 2015

Master of Science in Psychology at Justus Liebig University, Giessen

2010 – 2013
Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Justus Liebig University, Giessen

 


Professional Experience
04/2015 - 05/2015

Visiting academic at the Cognition & Perception lab, New York University, USA

Project: Modality, probability, and mental models

2013 – 2015

Graduate of PreProPsych (pre-PhD program) at the department of Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Science, Justus Liebig University, Giessen

Project: Wayfinding, landmark saliencies and working memory

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Show abstracts

Articles (2):

Hinterecker T, Leroy C, Zhao M, Butz MV, Bülthoff HH and Meilinger T (September-2017) No advantage for remembering horizontal over vertical spatial locations learned from a single viewpoint Memory & Cognition Epub ahead.
Hinterecker T, Knauff M and Johnson-Laird PN (October-2016) Modality, probability, and mental models Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 42(10) 1606-1620.

Conference papers (4):

Hinterecker T, Leroy C, Kirschhock M, Zhao M, Butz MV, Bülthoff HH and Meilinger T (July-2017) Reference Systems in Spatial Memory for Vertical Locations In: Computational Foundations of Cognition, , 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2017), Cognitive Science Society, Austin, TX, USA, 525.
Khemlani S, Hinterecker T and Johnson-Laird PN (July-2017) The provenance of modal inference In: Computational Foundations of Cognition, , 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2017), Cognitive Science Society, Austin, TX, USA, 663-668.
Hinterecker T, Röser F, Strickrodt M and Hamburger K (July-2014) SQUARELAND 2.0: A flexible and realistic virtual environment for investigating cognitive processes in human wayfinding In: Cognitive Science Meets Artificial Intelligence: Human and Artificial Agents in Interactive Contexts, , 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2014), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 2363-2368.
Hinterecker T, Strickrodt M, Röser F and Hamburger K (July-2014) The influence of structural salience and verbalisation on finding the return path In: Cognitive Science Meets Artificial Intelligence: Human and Artificial Agents in Interactive Contexts, , 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2014), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 613-618.

Posters (4):

Hinterecker T, Leroy C, Kirschhock ME, Zhao M, Butz MV, Bülthoff HH and Meilinger T (April-2017): Reference Systems in Memory for Vertical Locations: Evidence for Dominance of Egocentric over Environmental or Gravitational Systems, Second International Workshop on Models and Representations in Spatial Cognition, Tübingen, Germany.
Hinterecker T, Leroy C, Zhao M, Butz M, Bülthoff HH and Meilinger T (August-2-2016): Gravity as a universal reference direction? Influences on spatial memory for vertical object locations, International Conference Spatial Cognition (SC 2016), Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Meilinger T, Strickrodt M, Hinterecker T, Chang D-S, Saulton A, Fademrecht L and de la Rosa S (July-27-2016): Using Virtual Reality to Examine Social and Spatial Cognition, Virtual Environments: Current Topics in Psychological Research: VECTOR Workshop, Tübingen, Germany.
Hinterecker T, Röser F and Hamburger K (April-1-2014): "There and back again": The influence of verbalisation and structural salience on finding the return path, 56th Conference of Experimental Psychologists (TeaP 2014), Giessen, Germany.

Talks (4):

Khemlani S, Hinterecker T and Johnson-Laird PN (May-13-2017) Invited Lecture: The provenance of modal inference, Fifth Annual Conference on Advances in Cognitive Systems (CogSys 2017), Troy, NY, USA.
Hinterecker T (February-3-2017) Abstract Talk: Traveled distance estimations with horizontal and vertical passive linear displacements, 27th Oculomotor Meeting, Tübingen, Germany.
Hinterecker T, Leroy C, Butz MV, Bülthoff HH and Meilinger T (March-22-2016) Abstract Talk: Spatial memory in the vertical plane: The influence of gravity and room orientation during learning and retrieval, 58th Conference of Experimental Psychologists (TeaP 2016), Heidelberg, Germany 129.
Strickrodt M, Hinterecker T, Röser F and Hamburger K (September-2014) Abstract Talk: What if you could build your own landmark? The influence of color, shape, and position on landmark salience, 12th Biannual Conference of the German Cognitive Science Society (KogWis 2014), Tübingen, Germany, Cognitive Processing, 15(Supplement 1) S142-S144.

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Last updated: Monday, 22.05.2017