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This Place Looks Familiar—How Navigators Distinguish Places with Ambiguous Landmark Objects When Learning Novel Routes.

Strickrod, M., O'Malley, M. and Wiener, J.M., 2015. This Place Looks Familiar—How Navigators Distinguish Places with Ambiguous Landmark Objects When Learning Novel Routes. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1936 .

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fpsyg-06-01936.pdf - Published Version
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DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01936


We present two experiments investigating how navigators deal with ambiguous landmark information when learning unfamiliar routes. In the experiments we presented landmark objects repeatedly along a route, which allowed us to manipulate how informative single landmarks were (1) about the navigators' location along the route and (2) about the action navigators had to take at that location. Experiment 1 demonstrated that reducing location informativeness alone did not affect route learning performance. While reducing both location and action informativeness led to decreased route learning performance, participants still performed well above chance level. This demonstrates that they used other information than just the identity of landmark objects at their current position to disambiguate their location along the route. To investigate how navigators distinguish between visually identical intersections, we systematically manipulated the identity of landmark objects and the actions required at preceding intersections in Experiment 2. Results suggest that the direction of turn at the preceding intersections was sufficient to tell two otherwise identical intersections apart. Together, results from Experiments 1 and 2 suggest that route knowledge is more complex than simple stimulus-response associations and that neighboring places are tightly linked. These links not only encompass sequence information but also directional information which is used to identify the correct direction of travel at subsequent locations, but can also be used for self-localization.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:navigation, spatial cognition, landmark, route learning, ambiguous landmark information
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:23042
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:05 Jan 2016 15:56
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:54


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