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Reference frames in allocentric representations are invariant across static and active encoding.

Chan E, Baumann O, Bellgrove MA, Mattingley JB - Front Psychol (2013)

Bottom Line: Consistent with previous studies, spatial judgments were significantly more accurate when made from an orientation that was aligned, as opposed to misaligned, with the salient environmental feature.Taken together, the findings suggest that the learning condition (static vs. active) does not affect the reference system employed to encode object-location information.Spatial reference systems appear to be a ubiquitous property of spatial representations, and might serve to reduce the cognitive demands of spatial processing.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland St. Lucia, QLD, Australia ; School of Psychology, The University of Queensland St. Lucia, QLD, Australia.

ABSTRACT
An influential model of spatial memory-the so-called reference systems account-proposes that relationships between objects are biased by salient axes ("frames of reference") provided by environmental cues, such as the geometry of a room. In this study, we sought to examine the extent to which a salient environmental feature influences the formation of spatial memories when learning occurs via a single, static viewpoint and via active navigation, where information has to be integrated across multiple viewpoints. In our study, participants learned the spatial layout of an object array that was arranged with respect to a prominent environmental feature within a virtual arena. Location memory was tested using judgments of relative direction. Experiment 1A employed a design similar to previous studies whereby learning of object-location information occurred from a single, static viewpoint. Consistent with previous studies, spatial judgments were significantly more accurate when made from an orientation that was aligned, as opposed to misaligned, with the salient environmental feature. In Experiment 1B, a fresh group of participants learned the same object-location information through active exploration, which required integration of spatial information over time from a ground-level perspective. As in Experiment 1A, object-location information was organized around the salient environmental cue. Taken together, the findings suggest that the learning condition (static vs. active) does not affect the reference system employed to encode object-location information. Spatial reference systems appear to be a ubiquitous property of spatial representations, and might serve to reduce the cognitive demands of spatial processing.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Results of the judgement of relative direction (JRD) task in Experiments 1A,B. Mean angular error in degrees, shown as a function of imagined heading for Experiment 1A (static view—filled symbols) and Experiment 1B (active view—open symbols). Error bars represent ±1 normalized within-subjects error of the mean (Cousineau, 2005).
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Figure 2: Results of the judgement of relative direction (JRD) task in Experiments 1A,B. Mean angular error in degrees, shown as a function of imagined heading for Experiment 1A (static view—filled symbols) and Experiment 1B (active view—open symbols). Error bars represent ±1 normalized within-subjects error of the mean (Cousineau, 2005).

Mentions: Absolute pointing error on the JRD task was calculated as the unsigned difference between the participant's response and the correct direction of the target object. Trials in which pointing error was >90° were removed from the analyses (3%). Figure 2 (filled symbols) shows the mean pointing error plotted as a function of imagined heading.


Reference frames in allocentric representations are invariant across static and active encoding.

Chan E, Baumann O, Bellgrove MA, Mattingley JB - Front Psychol (2013)

Results of the judgement of relative direction (JRD) task in Experiments 1A,B. Mean angular error in degrees, shown as a function of imagined heading for Experiment 1A (static view—filled symbols) and Experiment 1B (active view—open symbols). Error bars represent ±1 normalized within-subjects error of the mean (Cousineau, 2005).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3755211&req=5

Figure 2: Results of the judgement of relative direction (JRD) task in Experiments 1A,B. Mean angular error in degrees, shown as a function of imagined heading for Experiment 1A (static view—filled symbols) and Experiment 1B (active view—open symbols). Error bars represent ±1 normalized within-subjects error of the mean (Cousineau, 2005).
Mentions: Absolute pointing error on the JRD task was calculated as the unsigned difference between the participant's response and the correct direction of the target object. Trials in which pointing error was >90° were removed from the analyses (3%). Figure 2 (filled symbols) shows the mean pointing error plotted as a function of imagined heading.

Bottom Line: Consistent with previous studies, spatial judgments were significantly more accurate when made from an orientation that was aligned, as opposed to misaligned, with the salient environmental feature.Taken together, the findings suggest that the learning condition (static vs. active) does not affect the reference system employed to encode object-location information.Spatial reference systems appear to be a ubiquitous property of spatial representations, and might serve to reduce the cognitive demands of spatial processing.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland St. Lucia, QLD, Australia ; School of Psychology, The University of Queensland St. Lucia, QLD, Australia.

ABSTRACT
An influential model of spatial memory-the so-called reference systems account-proposes that relationships between objects are biased by salient axes ("frames of reference") provided by environmental cues, such as the geometry of a room. In this study, we sought to examine the extent to which a salient environmental feature influences the formation of spatial memories when learning occurs via a single, static viewpoint and via active navigation, where information has to be integrated across multiple viewpoints. In our study, participants learned the spatial layout of an object array that was arranged with respect to a prominent environmental feature within a virtual arena. Location memory was tested using judgments of relative direction. Experiment 1A employed a design similar to previous studies whereby learning of object-location information occurred from a single, static viewpoint. Consistent with previous studies, spatial judgments were significantly more accurate when made from an orientation that was aligned, as opposed to misaligned, with the salient environmental feature. In Experiment 1B, a fresh group of participants learned the same object-location information through active exploration, which required integration of spatial information over time from a ground-level perspective. As in Experiment 1A, object-location information was organized around the salient environmental cue. Taken together, the findings suggest that the learning condition (static vs. active) does not affect the reference system employed to encode object-location information. Spatial reference systems appear to be a ubiquitous property of spatial representations, and might serve to reduce the cognitive demands of spatial processing.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus