Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse


  Geographic slant as a source of information in maze navigation

Mochnatzki, H., Steck, S., & Mallot, H. (1999). Geographic slant as a source of information in maze navigation. Poster presented at 2. Tübinger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK 1999), Tübingen, Germany.

Item is


show Files




Mochnatzki, HF1, 2, Author              
Steck, SD1, 2, Author              
Mallot, HA1, 2, Author              
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              


Free keywords: -
 Abstract: known to make extensive use of geographical slant for communication about spatial layout (Brown and Levinson, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 3: 46-74, 1993). We have investigated the role of geographic slant in a simple spatial memory task. The experimental environment is a modified version of the Hexatown virtual environment described by Gillner and Mallot (Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 10: 445-463, 1998). This environment is a hexagonal grid of streets with landmarks placed in each angle between two streets. We used a version with 8 places and no loops. The whole environment could be slanted by an angle of 4 degrees. Three slant conditions were used: “flat”: no slant; “slanted NW”: slant direction 30 degrees north west with respect to some arbitrarily chosen “north”; slanted NE: slant direction 30 degrees north east. Subjects could interact with the virtual environment by pedaling with force-feedback on a bicycle simulator (translation) or by hitting buttons (discrete rotations in 60 degree steps). The environment was simulated using a Silicon Graphics ONYX2 computer. Images were projected on a 180 degree screen. For details of the setup, see van Veen et al. (Future Generation Computer Systems 14: 231-242, 1998). Subjects explored the environment by searching 15 routes to various goals presented to them as pictures. After learning, spatial memory was accessed by a pointing task: In an across subjects design, 3 groups of 6 subjects were asked to point from various positions to the learnt goals (19 pointings per subject). Overall performance is rather good, with a mean angular error of -5.9 degrees (plus/ minus 53 degrees mean angular deviation) in the “flat” condition. Performance was significantly better in both the “slanted NW” condition (circular F-test, p<0.00001) and the “slanted NE” condition (p<0.04). There is also a significant difference between the two slanted conditions (p < 0.01). The results show that subjects are able to point to currently invisible targets in virtual environments. Adding a geographic slant improves this performance. We conclude that geographical slant plays a role either in the construction of a spatial memory, or in its readout, or in both.


 Dates: 1999-02
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: BibTex Citekey: 307
 Degree: -


Title: 2. Tübinger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK 1999)
Place of Event: Tübingen, Germany
Start-/End Date: 1999-02-26 - 1999-02-28

Legal Case


Project information


Source 1

Title: Beiträge zur 2. Tübinger Wahrnehmungskonferenz
Source Genre: Proceedings
Bülthoff, HH1, Editor            
Fahle, M, Editor            
Gegenfurtner, KR1, Editor            
Mallot, HA1, Editor            
1 Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497794            
Publ. Info: Kirchentellinsfurt, Germany : Knirsch
Pages: - Volume / Issue: - Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 86 Identifier: ISBN: 3-927091-45-6