Boumenir Y, Rebillard G, Dresp-Langley B, 2011, "Brief visual exposure to spatial layout and navigation from memory through a complex urban environment" Perception 40 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 82
Brief visual exposure to spatial layout and navigation from memory through a complex urban environment
Y Boumenir, G Rebillard, B Dresp-Langley
Whether visual spatial maps of routes convey more effective cues for navigation compared with virtual representations featuring visual key landmarks has remained unclear. We previously found that visual landmarks in virtual displays may be entirely useless without adequate perceptual cues to direction or relative distances (Boumenir et al, 2010 Perceptual & Motor Skills 111 829– 847]. Here, we investigated the spatial performance of observers navigating from memory through streets of Paris after brief visual exposure to either a 2D map, or a virtual field trip in Google Street View. Compared with some of the environments tested previously, Google Street View generates reliable perceptual estimates of direction and relative distances. Our results show that navigation from memory was faster after the virtual trip and more accurate compared with navigation after exposure to the 2D visual map. We conclude that perceptual cues to direction and relative distances are essential to the cognitive processing of visual key landmarks for successful navigation in the real world.
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