The Integration of Spatial Information across Different Viewpoints

This source preferred by Jan Wiener

Authors: Meilinger, T., Berthoz, A. and Wiener, J.M.

Journal: Memory & Cognition

Volume: 39

Pages: 1042-1054

ISSN: 0090-502X

DOI: 10.3758/s13421-011-0088-x

The integration of spatial information perceived from different viewpoints is a frequent, yet largely unexplored cognitive ability. In two experiments, participants saw two presentations, each consisting of three targets – i.e. illuminated tiles on the floor – before walking the shortest possible path across all targets. In Experiment 1, participants viewed the targets either from the same viewpoint or from different viewpoints. Errors in recalling targets increased if participants changed their viewpoint between presentations suggesting that memory acquired from different viewpoints had to be aligned for integration. Furthermore, the error pattern indicates that memory for the first presentation was transformed into the reference frame of the second presentation. Experiment 2 examined whether this transformation occurred, because new information was integrated already during encoding or because memorized information was integrated when required. Results suggest that the latter is the case. This might serve as a strategy for avoiding additional alignments.

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