The effect of spatial layout of objects on special memory through free searching tasks


The layout of targets is known to affect spatial memory in association with special frames of reference. However, most of the previous studies have been conducted on the learning from specific viewpoints. The present study examines whether the layout, as the structure of special reference points, has any effect on special memory when learning from all sides while walking around targets. In the experiment, participants explored a virtual circular room under the one of two conditions. The objects were arranged like spots on dice. In the Square Array, 4 objects were set in a square shape, while in the Node Array, one more object was added at the center. After the learning phase, they judged the directions of the targets from several imaginary positions of the room. The results suggest that the participants in the Node Array made quicker and more accurate judgments than those in the Square Array.

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