Perceptuo-motor Associations in Spatial Knowledge: Encoding or Retrieval Effect?.
Abstract: Seven experiments examined perceptuo-motor associations in spatial
knowledge. Participants learned spatial information by studying maps or by navigating
through real or virtual environments (VE). Then they verified if directional terms
correctly described spatial relations between studied locations from either an egocentric
or survey perspective. An action-compatibility paradigm was ... read moreused to investigate
perceptuo-motor processes during the verification task. Participants moved the mouse to
make “ yes/no ” responses, the direction of which could be either
congruent or incongruent with the spatial representation or directional term. A mouse
tracking program recorded the mouse trajectories. If mouse trajectories gravitate toward
the spatially or semantically congruent response with incongruent compared to congruent
trials, this would be an action compatibility effect (ACE), indicating the involvement of
perceptuo-motor associations. An encoding hypothesis predicts
that involvement of perceptuo-motor associations depends on whether perceptions and actions
are incorporated when encoding spatial information, no matter how spatial knowledge would
be used. The retrieval hypothesis predicts that perceptuo-motor
associations change as a function of retrieval perspective, regardless of encoding
processes. The results supported the retrieval hypothesis.
Participants showed ACEs in egocentric, but not survey retrieval, after learning spatial
knowledge from real environments. This was also true with VE-based spatial knowledge,
particularly for experienced videogame players, although to a lesser extent with virtual
navigation. Even though learning from maps does not involve explicit motor processing,
participants with well-developed map knowledge still showed ACEs with egocentric, but not
cardinal retrieval, unless the retrieval coordinate was unpredictable. ACEs found with
less-developed map knowledge suggested egocentric recoding with cardinal retrieval.
Generally, ACEs with egocentric retrieval were more evident with proximal than distant
locations. Retrieving spatial knowledge from unstudied orientation would not impair the
involvement perceptuo-motor associations, but may affect the temporal dynamic of ACEs. In
addition, less-developed spatial knowledge may involve language-based, semantically-driven
ACEs. Taken together the results demonstrate that perceptuo-motor associations in long-term
spatial knowledge are largely contingent upon retrieval perspective although also moderated
by learning experience and location proximity.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2013.
Submitted to the Dept. of Psychology.
Advisor: Holly Taylor.
Committee: Tad Brunye, Ayanna Thomas, and George Wolford.
Keywords: Experimental psychology, and Cognitive psychology.read less