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Orte – Routen – Karten: Aufbau, Struktur und Gebrauch von Ortsrepräsentationen in der Raumkognition

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Basten, K. (2010). Orte – Routen – Karten: Aufbau, Struktur und Gebrauch von Ortsrepräsentationen in der Raumkognition. PhD Thesis, Eberhard-karls-Universität, Tübingen, Germany.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-4F83-D
Finding one's way in the environment is a core cognitive function in animal kingdom. The underlying navigational abilities are the basis of the present work that explores recognition abilities and cognitive representations of place knowledge. Single places can be recognised already with a basic sensor system and low processing capacity as shown in a computer simulation of navigational abilities of desert ants. Basic visual features of the animal's environment (i.e. the skyline) are sufficient for distinction and recognition of places. In a behavioural study with humans could not only the acquisition of place knowledge be observed but as well the integration of places into route and survey representations. Results show that participants built up route knowledge or survey knowledge depending on wether they use local or global structures of the environment for wayfinding. Different mental representations of spatial knowledge are linked to behavioural patterns of different complexity and the interaction of working and long-term memory. On basis of these interactions an overall framework of spatial cognition is provided with respect to navigational abilities, ecological requirements and neuronal mechanisms Further, place knowledge recalled from existing long-term representations exhibit a viewdependent egocentric characteristic. The preferred perspective depends not only on the structure of the recalled place but also on the current task and situational state. The presented projects of this dissertation show an increasing complexity beginning with simple place recognition and acquisition of spatial knowledge up to recall of spatial long-term memory. Existing concepts of spatial cognition are discussed and extended as well as novel design concepts for the development of theoretical models and artificial systems are presented.