Coding and transformation of cognitive maps in a virtual environment



This study is concerned with route learning and its verification. It is investigated how accurately information can be utilized from a cognitive map of the same format or from cognitive maps with different formats. An experiment based on cognitive psychology is performed in which the subject learns beforehand a route in a virtual space. A cue to the location of the decision point is given. Then, the subject judges the orientation from that point. Two kinds of cue, either conditions in route map format or conditions in survey map format, are provided. The subject learns the virtual environment based on the route map, but it is inferred from the experiments that the cognitive map is formed as a survey map. In the test session, when a cue to the survey map concerning the start point and the present point, or a cue to the route map for automatic progress is given, the score achieved in the judgment of the orientation toward the goal point is better than in a control experiment without any cues. These results suggest that a correspondence strategy based on the survey map is probably used in the experiments with both the route map cue and survey map cue conditions. It should be noted, however, that the percentage correct for the route map condition is low in the initial stage of the experiment block, which seems to indicate that the correspondence strategy using the survey map becomes more effective in successive trials. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Electron Comm Jpn Pt 3, 88(4): 43–50, 2005; Published online in Wiley InterScience ( DOI 10.1002/ecjc.20096