Space in Perception and Memory

20. November 2013
CITEC building, Lecture Hall


The talk will focus on three ongoing projects related to space perception and spatial memory in humans. (i) Psychophysical measurements of the perception of ego-acceleration have been carried out in simulated flights through straight, narrowing, and widening corridors. While theoretical considerations show that effects of acceleration can be separated from effects of wall nearness, psychophysical data indicate that human observers confuse ego-acceleration and corridor narrowing. (ii) Place recognition is a central task in memory-based spatial behavior. The task will discuss experimental paradigms and behavioral data addressing the sensory cues and mental representations employed in place recognition. (iii)  While spatial long-term memory may be assumed to be `allocentric’, or independent of the observer’s pose, working memory often takes a particular perspective on a remembered place. Using a simple paper-and-pencil paradigm, we showed that this perspective is changed by prior planning of a route passing by the remembered place. Recent experiments indicate that there is also a dependence on the subject’s current position relative to the remembered place.