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How does horizontal and vertical navigation influence spatial memory of multifloored environments?

Abstract : Although a number of studies have been devoted to 2-D navigation, relatively little is known about how the brain encodes and recalls navigation in complex multifloored environments. Previous studies have proposed that humans preferentially memorize buildings by a set of horizontal 2-D representations. Yet this might stem from the fact that environments were also explored by floors. Here, we have investigated the effect of spatial learning on memory of a virtual multi-floored building. Two groups of 28 participants watched a computer movie that showed either a route along floors one at a time or travel between floors by simulated lifts, consisting in both cases of a 2-D trajectory in the vertical plane. To test recognition, the participants viewed a camera movement that either replicated a segment of the learning route (familiar segment) or did not (novel segment—i.e., shortcuts). Overall, floor recognition was not reliably superior to column recognition , but learning along a floor route produced a better spatial memory performance than did learning along a column route. Moreover, the participants processed familiar segments more accurately than novel ones, not only after floor learning, but crucially, also after column learning, suggesting a key role of the observation mode on the exploitation of spatial memory.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - 11:36:53 AM
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Guillaume Thibault, Achille Pasqualotto, Manuel Vidal, Jacques Droulez, Alain Berthoz. How does horizontal and vertical navigation influence spatial memory of multifloored environments?. Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, Springer Verlag, 2013, 25, pp.3333 - 15. ⟨10.3758/s13414-012-0405-x⟩. ⟨hal-01519759⟩

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