Layout geometry in the selection of intrinsic frames of reference from multiple viewpoints

Weimin Mou, Mintao Zhao, Timothy P McNamara

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65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Four experiments investigated the roles of layout geometry in the selection of intrinsic frames of reference in spatial memory. Participants learned the locations of objects in a room from 2 or 3 viewing perspectives. One view corresponded to the axis of bilateral symmetry of the layout, and the other view(s) was (were) nonorthogonal to the axis of bilateral symmetry. Judgments of relative direction using spatial memory were quicker for imagined headings parallel to the symmetric axis than for those parallel to the other viewing perspectives. This advantage disappeared when the symmetric axis was eliminated. Moreover, there was more consistency across participants in the selection of intrinsic axes when the layout contained an axis of bilateral symmetry than when it did not. These results indicate that the layout geometry affects the selection of intrinsic frames of reference supporting the intrinsic model of spatial memory proposed by W. Mou and T. P. McNamara (2002) and by A. L. Shelton and T. P. McNamara (2001).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-154
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

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