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A viewpoint-independent process for spatial reorientation

Nardini, Marko and Thomas, Rhiannon L. and Knowland, Victoria C.P. and Braddick, O.J. and Atkinson, J. (2009) A viewpoint-independent process for spatial reorientation. Cognition 112 (2), pp. 241-248. ISSN 0010-0277.

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Reorientation tasks, in which disoriented participants attempt to relocate objects using different visual cues, have previously been understood to depend on representing aspects of the global organisation of the space, for example its major axis for judgements based on geometry. Careful analysis of the visual information available for these tasks shows that successful performance could be based on the much simpler process of storing a visual ‘snapshot’ at the target location, and subsequently moving in order to match it. We tested 4–8-year olds on a new spatial reorientation task that could not be solved based on information directly contained in any retinal projection that they had been exposed to, but required participants to infer how the space is structured. Only 6–8-year olds showed flexible recall from novel viewpoints. Five-year olds were able to recall locations given movement information or a unique proximal landmark, but without these they could not do so, even when they were not disoriented or when the landmark was a familiar object. These results indicate that early developing spatial abilities based on view matching and self motion are supplemented by a later-developing process that takes into account the structure of spatial layouts and so enables flexible recall from arbitrary viewpoints.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Landmarks, development, view matching, spatial memory
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2011 09:15
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:21

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