Effects of lighting on cognitive map development




Oscarson, Brandon

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Every day people use cognitive maps to successfully navigate the world around them. Research has shown that the development of these maps depends on two types of knowledge: route knowledge (which landmarks to turn at and which way to turn) and survey knowledge (bird's-eye view of the environment). This research investigates the development of these two types of knowledge as a function of whether an external referent (in this case the moon) is provided to the learner. A total of 56 participants were recruited from the SONA program. The data were analyzed using a split-plot factorial ANOVA. Consistent with the previous literature, procedural knowledge was acquired faster than survey knowledge and individual differences were correlated with the acquisition of survey knowledge. Inconsistent with the previous literature, enhancing the amount of survey information presented by removing the ceiling and adding a moon initially hindered rather than helped the measure of survey knowledge. The implications for future research are discussed.


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cognitive maps, lighting, moon, orientation cue