Intrinsic frames of reference in haptic spatial learning

Yamamoto, Naohide & Philbeck, John W. (2013) Intrinsic frames of reference in haptic spatial learning. Cognition, 129(2), pp. 447-456.

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It has been proposed that spatial reference frames with which object locations are specified in memory are intrinsic to a to-be-remembered spatial layout (intrinsic reference theory). Although this theory has been supported by accumulating evidence, it has only been collected from paradigms in which the entire spatial layout was simultaneously visible to observers. The present study was designed to examine the generality of the theory by investigating whether the geometric structure of a spatial layout (bilateral symmetry) influences selection of spatial reference frames when object locations are sequentially learned through haptic exploration. In two experiments, participants learned the spatial layout solely by touch and performed judgments of relative direction among objects using their spatial memories. Results indicated that the geometric structure can provide a spatial cue for establishing reference frames as long as it is accentuated by explicit instructions (Experiment 1) or alignment with an egocentric orientation (Experiment 2). These results are entirely consistent with those from previous studies in which spatial information was encoded through simultaneous viewing of all object locations, suggesting that the intrinsic reference theory is not specific to a type of spatial memory acquired by the particular learning method but instead generalizes to spatial memories learned through a variety of encoding conditions. In particular, the present findings suggest that spatial memories that follow the intrinsic reference theory function equivalently regardless of the modality in which spatial information is encoded.

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ID Code: 73018
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2013.08.011
ISSN: 0010-0277
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Cognition. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Cognition, [VOL 129, ISSUE 2, (2013)] DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2013.08.011
Deposited On: 24 Jun 2014 22:24
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2014 23:38

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