Multiple Systems of Spatial Memory: Evidence From Described Scenes
AuthorAvraamides, Marios N.
Kelly, Jonathan W.
SourceJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
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Recent models in spatial cognition posit that distinct memory systems are responsible for maintaining transient and enduring spatial relations. The authors used perspective-taking performance to assess the presence of these enduring and transient spatial memories for locations encoded through verbal descriptions. Across 3 experiments, spatial reasoning about immediate and remote environments was influenced by enduring, allocentric spatial memories. In contrast, transient, egocentric spatial memories influenced participants' spatial reasoning about immediate, but not remote, environments unless participants received specific imagery instructions. These findings provide support for theories proposing multiple spatial memory systems. Furthermore, these findings closely replicate previous results from studies with purely visual scenes, thereby providing converging evidence for functional equivalence between spatial representations maintaining visual and described locations. © 2010 American Psychological Association.