IT’S THE JOURNEY, NOT THE DESTINATION: ARRAY STABILITY SUPPORTS FLEXIBLE SPATIAL MEMORY
AuthorHolmes, Corinne Ashley
Committee memberShipley, Thomas F.
Chein, Jason M.
Marshall, Peter J.
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/1454
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe ability to recall a spatial layout from multiple orientations – spatial flexibility – is a challenging cognitive process, especially when the global configuration cannot be viewed from a single vantage point, as spatial information must first be integrated before it can be flexibly recalled. The current study examined if experiencing the transition between multiple viewpoints enhances spatial flexibility for both non-integrated (Exp. 1) and integrated environments (Exp. 2), if the type of transition matters, and if action provides an additional advantage over passive visual flow. In Experiment 1, participants viewed an array of dollhouse furniture from four viewpoints that presented the global configuration from multiple orientations. In Experiment 2, the array was viewed piecemeal, from four viewpoints that presented the global configuration in partial chunks. The control condition presented the dollhouse as a series of static views, whereas in the remaining conditions, visual flow was continuous. Participants viewed the natural transition between viewpoints, and either passively experienced the transitions (i.e., by watching the dollhouse rotate or being rolled around it), or actively generated them (i.e., by rotating the dollhouse or walking around it). Across both experiments, continuous visual flow significantly enhanced spatial flexibility when paired with observer movement around the dollhouse, either active or passive. Furthermore, when participants had to integrate spatial information across discrete learning experiences (Exp. 2), active movement provided a significant advantage above passive experience. These findings suggest that array stability is key to flexible spatial memory, with action providing an additional boost to spatial integration.
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