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Spatial representations for familiar and newly-encoded environments

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Pagkratidou, A., Hatzipanayioti, A., & Avraamides, M. (2017). Spatial representations for familiar and newly-encoded environments. Poster presented at 20th Meeting of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCOP 2017), Potsdam, Germany.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-BA85-7
Findings in spatial cognition document that people store spatial information about unfamiliar environments from a preferred orientation, relying on factors such as the symmetry of the layout, the environmental structure, one’s learning viewpoint, the experimental instructions, etc. However, what is not yet known is whether memories about familiar environments are also orientation-dependent. The study we conducted investigated spatial reasoning about familiar and unfamiliar environments. Specifically, we asked a group of participants to make perspective-taking judgments for objects located in their own rooms at a university dormitory and we compared their performance with that of controls participants who studied the same rooms in the lab through immersive Virtual Reality. Findings revealed that reasoning about both familiar and unfamiliar environments relies on orientationdependent representations that can be influenced by situation cues at the time of retrieval. The implications of these results for theories of spatial memory are discussed.