NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1215505
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jun
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Memory for Navigable Space Is Flexible and Not Restricted to Exclusive Local or Global Memory Units
Strickrodt, Marianne; Bülthoff, Heinrich H.; Meilinger, Tobias
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v45 n6 p993-1013 Jun 2019
Objects learned within single enclosed spaces (e.g., rooms) can be represented within a single reference frame. Contrarily, the representation of navigable spaces (multiple interconnected enclosed spaces) is less well understood. In this study we examined different levels of integration within memory (local, regional, global), when learning object locations in navigable space. Participants consecutively learned two distinctive regions of a virtual environment that eventually converged at a common transition point and subsequently solved a pointing task. In Experiment 1 pointing latency increased with increasing corridor distance to the target and additionally when pointing into the other region. Further, when pointing within a region alignment with local and regional reference frames, when pointing across regional boundaries alignment with a global reference frame was found to accelerate pointing. Thus, participants memorized local corridors, clustered corridors into regions, and integrated globally across the entire environment. Introducing the transition point at the beginning of learning each region in Experiment 2 caused previous region effects to vanish. Our findings emphasize the importance of locally confined spaces for structuring spatial memory and suggest that the opportunity to integrate novel into existing spatial information early during learning may influence unit formation on the regional level. Further, global representations seem to be consulted only when accessing spatial information beyond regional borders. Our results are inconsistent with conceptions of spatial memory for large scale environments based either exclusively on local reference frames or upon a single reference frame encompassing the whole environment, but rather support hierarchical representation of space.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A