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Mar 26, 2008

Assessing human reorientation ability inside virtual reality environments

Assessing human reorientation ability inside virtual reality environments: the effects of retention interval and landmark characteristics.

Cogn Process. 2008 Mar 20;

Authors: Bosco A, Picucci L, Caffò AO, Lancioni GE, Gyselinck V

The purpose of the present study was to assess the navigational behaviour of adult humans following a disorientation procedure that perturbed their egocentric frame of reference. The assessment was carried out in a virtual reality (VR) environment by manipulating the disorientation procedure, the retention interval, the relative positions of target and landmark. The results of experiment I demonstrated that adding a physical rotation to a virtual disorientation procedure did not yield an additional decrease in searching performance. The results of experiment II showed that shortening the delay between study and test phase decreased the errors more markedly for geometric than landmark ones. An orientation specificity effect due to the manipulation of the relative position between target and landmark was discussed across the experiments. In conclusion, VR seemed to be a valuable method for studying human reorientation. Moreover, the virtual experimental setting involved here promoted knowledge of the relationship between working memory and spatial reorientation paradigm.

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