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  Long-Term Memory for Environmental Spaces: the Case of Orientation Specificity

Meilinger, T., Riecke, B., Laharnar, N., & Bülthoff, H. (2007). Long-Term Memory for Environmental Spaces: the Case of Orientation Specificity. Poster presented at 10th Tübinger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK 2007), Tübingen, Germany.

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 Creators:
Meilinger, T1, 2, Author           
Riecke, BE1, 2, Author           
Laharnar, N1, 2, Author           
Bülthoff, HH1, 2, Author           
Affiliations:
1Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497797              
2Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076 Tübingen, DE, ou_1497794              

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 Abstract: 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.

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 Dates: 2007-07
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Degree: -

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Title: 10th Tübinger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK 2007)
Place of Event: Tübingen, Germany
Start-/End Date: 2007-07-27 - 2007-07-29

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Title: 10th Tübinger Perception Conference: TWK 2007
Source Genre: Proceedings
 Creator(s):
Bülthoff, HH1, Editor           
Chatziastros, A1, Editor           
Mallot, HA, Editor           
Ulrich, R, Editor
Affiliations:
1 Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497797            
Publ. Info: Kirchentellinsfurt, Germany : Knirsch
Pages: - Volume / Issue: - Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 124 Identifier: ISBN: 3-927091-77-4