NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ884830
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Where Do You Think You Are? Effects of Conceptual Current Position on Spatial Memory Performance
Shelton, Amy L.; Marchette, Steven A.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v36 n3 p686-698 May 2010
Testing spatial memory within the same environment used for learning produces interference between one's immediate representation of current position and the to-be-retrieved position. In a series of 3 experiments, we show that "current position" and its influence on memory performance can be driven by conceptual factors in an ambiguous testing situation. First, we demonstrate that simple instructions about the testing conditions--"you are in the space" versus "imagine the space"--determined whether a participant showed interference from current position, reflecting the effect of one's conceived position in space on long-term memory retrieval. In addition, we show that when instructions motivate this use of current position under ambiguous conditions, the position assumed is defined by the last known position rather than the learning position. We account for these results by suggesting that current models of spatial memory need to incorporate both the perceptual and conceptual testing environment, malleable versus stable features, and the interaction of current position with long-term memory. (Contains 5 figures and 5 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A