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ERIC Number: EJ1167955
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
The Developmental Trajectory of Intramaze and Extramaze Landmark Biases in Spatial Navigation: An Unexpected Journey
Buckley, Matthew G.; Haselgrove, Mark; Smith, Alastair D.
Developmental Psychology, v51 n6 p771-791 Jun 2015
Adults learning to navigate to a hidden goal within an enclosed space have been found to prefer information provided by the distal cues of an environment, as opposed to proximal landmarks within the environment. Studies with children, however, have shown that 5- or 7-year-olds do not display any preference toward distal or proximal cues during navigation. This suggests that a bias toward learning about distal cues occurs somewhere between the age of 7 years and adulthood. We recruited 5- to 11-year-old children and an adult sample to explore the developmental profile of this putative change. Across a series of 3 experiments, participants were required to navigate to a hidden goal in a virtual environment, the location of which was signaled by both extramaze and intramaze landmark cues. During testing, these cues were placed into conflict to assess the search preferences of participants. Consistent with previously reported findings, adults were biased toward using extramaze information. However, analysis of the data from children, which incorporated age as a continuous variable, suggested that older children in our sample were, in fact, biased toward using the intramaze landmark in our task. These findings suggest the bias toward using distal cues in spatial navigation, frequently displayed by adults, may be a comparatively late developing trait, and one that could supersede an initial developmental preference for proximal landmarks.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Nottingham)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A