SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract: Space can be understood through perception and language, but are the processes that represent spatial information the same in both cases? This paper reviews psychological evidence for the functional equivalence of spatial representations based on perceptual and linguistic inputs. It is proposed that spatial information is processed by a specialised spatial representation system (SRS) that creates geometric representations of space. The SRS receives inputs from perceptual and linguistic systems and uses these basic inputs to construct mental spatial models of the observed or described environment. A mental spatial model is created by determining the coordinate locations of objects in the egocentric or allocentric frame of reference. The goal of the SRS is not to represent strictly what is perceived, but to model an environment that has an inherent three-dimensional spatial structure.