Two experiments are reported that use a ``point-to-unseen-targets'' task to study the role of egocentric reference frames in the retrieval of survey knowledge learned from either studying a map or navigating an environment. In Experiment 1, performance was generally consistent with the hypothesis that map knowledge is retrieved using a frame of reference centered on the eye, characterized by (a) a fixed orientation in a ``frontal representational plane'' and (b) equal access to spatial relations both in front of, or above, and behind, or below, a right-left retrieval axis. The results of Experiment 2 were consistent with the hypothesis that environment knowledge is retrieved within a frame of reference centered on the body, characterized by (a) flexible orientation within a ``transverse representational plane'' and (b) privileged access to spatial relations located in front of the right-left retrieval axis in representational space. Both types of knowledge function as if they preserve information about the Euclidean angles connecting elements in physical space.
Spatial Cognition and Computation – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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