Spatial Vision , Vol. 22, No. 5, pp. 409 – 424 (2009) © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2009. Also available online - www.brill.nl/sv Representation of space: image-like or sensorimotor? CHRISTOPH ZETZSCHE ∗ , JOHANNES WOLTER, CHRISTOPHER GALBRAITH and KERSTIN SCHILL Cognitive Neuroinformatics, University of Bremen, FB3, University of Bremen, P.O. Box 330 440, 28334 Bremen, Germany Received 21 September 2008; accepted 29 December 2008 Abstract —We investigate the relation between the physical world and its mental representation in the ‘cognitive map’, and test if this representation is image-like and complies with the laws of Euclidean geometry. We have developed a new experimental technique using ‘impossible’ virtual environments (VE) to directly influence the representational development. Subjects explore a number of VEs — some ‘normal’, others with severe violations of Euclidean metrics or planar topology. We check if these manipulated properties cause problems in navigation performance. A consistent VE should be easily represented mentally in a map-like fashion, while a VE with severe violations should prove difficult. Surprisingly, we found no substantial influence of the impossible VEs on navigation performance, and forced-choice tests showed little evidence that subjects were aware of manipulations. This suggests that the representation does not resemble
Spatial Vision (continued as Seeing & Perceiving from 2010) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2009
Keywords: COGNITIVE MAP; SENSORIMOTOR; VIRTUAL REALITY; NAVIGATION; SPATIAL REPRESENTATION
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