Spatial memory reasoning at familiar vs. unfamiliar environments
Place of publicationPadua, Italy
SourceProceedings of the 16th European Workshop on Imagery and Cognition: From World to Mind: Images and Representations (EWIC 2018)
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Recent findings in spatial cognition suggest that people store information about unfamiliar environments with a preferred orientation, based on factors such as the intrinsic structure of layout, the environmental structure, one's learning viewpoint, the experimental instructions and the conversational partner's viewpoint. However, what is still unknown is the preferred orientation of familiar environments. This study employed the University Halls' rooms, to investigate the spatial reasoning about familiar and unfamiliar environments. Specifically, we asked participants to make a pointing task for objects located in their own roomsand participants who didn't own a room, to study one in VR and make the same task. We attempted to predict if participants in the familiar environment would demonstrate an orientation-free memory and if participants in the unfamiliar environment would demonstrate an orientation-dependent memory. Findings revealed reasoning about both familiar and unfamiliar environments is orientation-dependent. Reasoning for unfamiliar environments determines the preferred orientation by the starting orientation while for familiar environments by environmental cues, which can override the performance advantage of the preferred orientation.