Although the process of establishing a memoryof a location is necessary for navigation,relatively little is known about theinformation that humans use when forming placememories. We examined the relative importanceof distance and angular information aboutlandmarks in place learning. Participantsrepeatedly learned a target location inrelation to three distinct landmarks in animmersive computer-generated (virtual)environment. Later, during testing, theyattempted to return to that location. Theconfigurations of landmarks used during testingwere altered from those participants learned inorder to separate the effects of metricdistance information and information aboutinter-landmark angles. In general,participants showed greater reliance ondistance information than angular information. This reliance was affected by nonmetricrelationships present during learning, as wellas by the degree to which the learnedenvironment contained right or straightangles.
Spatial Cognition and Computation – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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