Memory for targets in a multi-level simulated-environment: Evidence for vertical asymmetry in spatial memory

P N Wilson, N Foreman, Danae Stanton, H Duffy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In two experiments, adult participants explored a symmetrical three-tiered computer-simulated building that contained six distinctive objects, two on each floor. Following exploration, the objects were removed, and the participants were asked to make direction judgments from each floor, indicating the former positions of the objects on that floor and on higher and lower floors. Relative tilt error scores indicated a bias, in that targets that were higher than the test location were judged as consistently lower than their actual positions and targets that were lower than the test location were judged as consistently higher than their actual positions. Absolute tilt errors revealed an asymmetry, with more accurate and less variable tilt errors for judgments directed to lower floors than for judgments directed to higher floors. Experiment 3 ruled out an account of the findings that does not relate them to spatial memory. The results suggest that the superiority of downward over upward spatial judgments, previously reported in two-dimensional visual-spatial tasks, extends to navigational spatial memory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-297
Number of pages15
JournalMemory & Cognition
Volume32
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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