Action and the representation of distance in cognitive maps acquired through imagined traversal: The development of a new methodology

Davi Bugmann, Kenny Coventry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


A new methodology examined the effects of action on memory for traversed distance using an imagined route traversal task. Blindfolded participants learned environments through auditory verbal description, imagining themselves walking in synchronization with metronome beats. Participants were turned during traversals, and performed an action at midroute. Memory for the newly learned environments was tested through recall (measured with metronome beats). Experiments 1–3 indicated that the number (but not amplitude) of turns while imagining walking a set distance leads to an increase in perceived distance at recall. Additionally, Experiment 2 found that rewalked distance immediately prior to performing an action at midroute was greater than rewalked distance immediately after action. However, Experiment 3 established that the effect was due to time spent at midroute rather than action per se. The similarity between spatial representation derived from imagined traversal and real traversal, and the relationship between distance and time estimation are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-533
Number of pages16
JournalMemory & Cognition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008

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