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Shiyi Li, Zhongting Wang, Haibo Yang, Deli Shen, Xuejun Bai, Hong-jin Sun; The Intrinsic Reference System in Spatial Learning: Evidence from a Contextual Cueing Paradigm. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):1057. doi: 10.1167/13.9.1057.
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It has been proposed (Mou etal, 2004) that when learning a spatial layout, structure of the environment could be interpreted in terms of an intrinsic reference system. Alignment of viewing perspective with the intrinsic axis in the environment would lead to higher recall accuracies than that in misaligned conditions. Here we demonstrate that intrinsic axis of the scene can benefit in spatial learning even in a task involving implicit learning. We used a contextual cueing paradigm where repeated configurations of random elements induce better search performance than that of novel configurations. We examined search behavior in a computer rendered illustrations of a realistic scene. Participants were presented with an array of chairs randomly positioned on the ground and in their normal upright orientations. Observers were presented with a sequence of trials in which they searched for and identified an arbitrarily located target letter positioned on a chair. Half of the trials in each block were repeated over blocks and, in the other half of the trials, the layouts were randomly generated. We found significant contextual cueing with faster RTs in the repeated condition than in the novel condition as participants learned the relationship between repeated stimuli and target location. For both repeated and novel conditions, we varied the information about intrinsic axis by manipulating the orientation of the individual chairs to be either aligned or misaligned (rotated on the ground plane) with the perspective of the observer. We found that when all chairs were oriented in alignment with the perspective, faster learning (greater reduction of RT over blocks) and a greater contextual curing effect was found compared to a condition where the chairs were oriented 20 degree deviated from the perspective. Our results thus allow us to extend previous findings of the role of intrinsic axis to implicit learning.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
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