August 2023
Volume 23, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2023
Spatial learning of a virtual environment with and without an unoccluded vista view
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ho Ming Chan
    The University of Hong Kong
  • Jie Ding
    The University of Hong Kong
  • Jeffrey Saunders
    The University of Hong Kong
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  This research was supported by a grant from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (GRF 17407914)
Journal of Vision August 2023, Vol.23, 4902. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Ho Ming Chan, Jie Ding, Jeffrey Saunders; Spatial learning of a virtual environment with and without an unoccluded vista view. Journal of Vision 2023;23(9):4902.

      Download citation file:

      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

This study tested the effect of providing a vista view of an environment on spatial learning. During normal navigation, we can only perceive limited regions at a time. To learn the spatial layout, we would have to integrate information from multiple views. If an unoccluded view of the full environment was displayed (vista view), would this improve spatial learning? We tested this experimentally using VR. In the normal condition, subjects navigated through a virtual urban environment to learn the locations of eight target buildings. In the vista condition, the task was the same except that most non-target buildings were compressed in height, allowing subjects to see the whole space and the configuration of target buildings. We tested these conditions in two preregistered experiments. In Experiment 1, the vista view was presented during travel to a target. In Experiment 2, the vista view was presented for 15s before each trial. After the learning phase, they were tested on judgments of relative direction (JRD) to measure survey knowledge, and wayfinding to measure route knowledge. We hypothesized that the vista views would improve survey knowledge by allowing subjects to directly observed the locations of targets relative to each other and global landmarks, but there might be little or no benefit for route knowledge. Surprisingly, we observed no detectable benefit from vista view in either experiment or task. Even though the vista view allowed subjects to see the configuration of targets at once, there was no improvement in JRD accuracy or wayfinding performance compared to the normal condition where visibility is limited to local regions. Subjects with high and low sense of direction showed comparable results. Our results suggest that a street-level unoccluded view may have limited benefit for learning an environment through navigation.


This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.