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Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition


American Psychological Association

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Abstract/ Summary

This research examined whether visual and haptic map learning yield functionally equivalent spatial images in working memory, as evidenced by similar encoding bias and updating performance. In 3 experiments, participants learned 4-point routes either by seeing or feeling the maps. At test, blindfolded participants made spatial judgments about the maps from imagined perspectives that were either aligned or misaligned with the maps as represented in working memory. Results from Experiments 1 and 2 revealed a highly similar pattern of latencies and errors between visual and haptic conditions. These findings extend the well-known alignment biases for visual map learning to haptic map learning, provide further evidence of haptic updating, and most important, show that learning from the 2 modalities yields very similar performance across all conditions. Experiment 3 found the same encoding biases and updating performance with blind individuals, demonstrating that functional equivalence cannot be due to visual recoding and is consistent with an amodal hypothesis of spatial images.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Giudice, N.A., Betty, M.R., & Loomis, J.M. (2011). Functional Equivalence of Spatial Images from Touch and Vision: Evidence from Spatial Updating in Blind and Sighted Individuals. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. 37(3), 621-634.

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© 2011 American Psychological Association




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