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Multiple levels of representation for a navigable, clustered space

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Strickrodt,  M
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;
Project group: Social & Spatial Cognition, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Strickrodt, M., & Meilinger, T. (2018). Multiple levels of representation for a navigable, clustered space. In A. Schütz, A. Schubö, D. Endres, & H. Lachnit (Eds.), TeaP 2018: Abstracts of the 60th Conference of Experimental Psychologists (pp. 262). Lengerich, Germany: Pabst Science Publishers.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-7E4B-F
Abstract
In contrast to spatial memory acquired in enclosed spaces (i.e., rooms), memory for navigable spaces (e.g., buildings) is less well understood. We had subjects learn eight target objects spread across a virtual environment, consisting of two apparent regions. Separation of regions was triggered by visual and semantic similarity (wall colour, object categories), walking distance and turning angle complexity (longest and most complex path at transition point), and spatio-temporal contingency (regions learned subsequently). A subsequent pointing task revealed increased pointing latency with increasing corridor distance to the target, and a facilitative effect of being bodily aligned with the local corridor. Moreover, pointing to targets located within one’s current region was faster compared to pointing to targets in the other region, and alignment with region specific orientations enhanced pointing latency. In sum, our results indicate the formation of local and regional memory units that manifest in the form of spatial reference frames. Our local and regional effects give way to the interpretation that, when confronted with a complex navigable space, multiple levels of spatial integration are stored, potentially in a hierarchical fashion. Importantly, our results cannot be explained by concepts of exclusive local corridor units or exclusive global, all-embracing memory units.