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Navigating Regionalized Environments

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Wiener,  JM
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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MPIK-TR-115.pdf
(Publisher version), 5MB

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Citation

Wiener, J., & Mallot, H.(2003). Navigating Regionalized Environments (115). Tübingen, Germany: Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-DC29-8
Abstract
Environments that are divided into regions lead to hierarchical encoding of space. Such memory structures are known to systematically distort estimates of distance and direction and affect spatial priming and memory recall. Here we present two navigation experiments in virtual environments that reveal an influence of environmental regions on human route planning and navigation behaviour. Following the hierarchical theories of spatial representations, it is argued that environmental regions are explicitly represented in spatial memory and that human route planning takes into account region-connectivity and is not based on place-connectivity alone. We also propose a ’fine-to-coarse’ planning heuristic that could account for the empirical data.