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When do we integrate spatial information acquired by walking through environmental spaces?

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Henson,  A
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Bülthoff,  HH
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Meilinger,  T
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Henson, A., Mallot, H., Bülthoff, H., & Meilinger, T. (2011). When do we integrate spatial information acquired by walking through environmental spaces? In L. Carlson, C. Hoelscher, & T. Shipley (Eds.), Expanding the Space of Cognitive Science (pp. 2764-2769). Austin, TX, USA: Cognitive Science Society.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-BB38-0
Abstract
The present study examined whether spatial information of a novel environment was integrated within a reference frame during initial learning, or only later when required for pointing to other targets. Twenty-two participants repeatedly walked through a multi-corridor virtual environment, presented via a head-mounted display. At several stages within the learning process they were teleported to locations along the route and asked to self-localize and point to other locations. Pointing was faster during later tests as well as for closer targets, both of which might require less integration. Participants tested only after extended exposure (late pointers) took longer than participants who had received testing interspersed throughout the same amount of exposure (early pointers). Pointing latency did not differ between groups when comparing performance on their first pointing test, despite vastly different exposure. These results are inconsistent with the assumption that participants already integrated spatial information within a single reference frame during learning and simply accessed this information during testing. Rather, spatial integration is a time consuming process which is not necessarily undertaken if not required.