Spatial Representations with Conflicting Intrinsic Frames of Reference


Establishing and updating spatial relationships between objects in the environment is vital to maintaining situation awareness. Wang et al. (2005) found that updating of spatial representations in the intrinsic frame of reference (IFOR) can be prioritized based on salience of task demands. But their study used a task environment with only one IFOR. Often a task environment has several objects in it which may be task-relevant, and they may conflict with each other in one or more ways such as by being oriented in differing directions. Two experiments manipulated relative spatial orientation and task salience of two task-relevant objects such that the objects’ orientations conflicted with each other and the task probabilistically demanded response based on the orientation of one or the other object. It was found that spatial updating in the IFOR was constrained by the limits of human attentional processes. Furthermore those constraints can be relaxed with practice.

Back to Table of Contents