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Kayoko Ohtsu, Yoshihiro Oouchi; Learning relative locations in single and multiple- destination route planning in the real labyrinth. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):1045. doi: 10.1167/10.7.1045.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
A few studies have examined the relation between route planning during wayfinding and spatial learning. Route planning often involves manipulation of spatial representation about a current space when one cannot see a destination directly. At an early stage of learning an environment, one has to retrieve some representation about a destination and estimate its direction relative to a current place to plan and choose a route. In other words, that is a process of knowing the relative location of the two places. We tested the hypothesis that a route planning would enhance spatial learning through the wayfinding task using a real environment. Incidental learning outcomes between two types of route planning were compared: (I) single destination (estimating one relative location at a time) and (II) multiple destinations (estimating a number of relative locations at a time). In the experiment, 50 participants explored the simple symmetric labyrinth (7 by 7 meters) freely and visited 4 targets (exploring phase), and then they were asked to revisit these targets in a predefined order (visiting phase). Half the participants were given (i) the next goal target every time after reaching the current one while the other half were given (ii) the next 3 goal targets and a order to make a round of visits. After the task, the participants judged 12 relative directions to and from the 4 target positions. Results suggest that performance in multiple destinations condition is better than that of single one. Since there was no difference in total task execution time and both conditions had brought about similar physical experiences (the amount of walking and a migration pathway), we conclude the manipulation of spatial representations about multiple destinations in the exploring phase would have formed more elaborated spatial knowledge.
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