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Path integration, the ability to sense self-motion for keeping track of changes in orientation and position, constitutes a fundamental mechanism of spatial navigation and a keystone for the development of cognitive maps. Whereas animal path integration is predominantly supported by the head-direction, grid, and place cell systems, the neural foundations are(More)
Environments that are divided into regions lead to hierarchical encoding of space. Such memory structures are known to systematically distort estimates of distance and direction and affect spatial priming and memory recall. Here we present two navigation experiments in virtual environments that reveal an influence of environmental regions on human route(More)
This paper disentangles cognitive and communicative factors influencing planning strategies in the everyday task of choosing a route to a familiar location. Describing the way for a stranger in town calls for fundamentally different cognitive processes and strategies than actually walking to a destination. In a series of experiments, this paper addresses(More)
Spatial navigation is a fascinating behavior that is essential for our everyday lives. It involves nearly all sensory systems, it requires numerous parallel computations, and it engages multiple memory systems. One of the key problems in this field pertains to the question of reference frames: spatial information such as direction or distance can be coded(More)
In this work, three experiments are reported that studied the use and interaction of navigation strategies both during the learning of a virtual environment and during subsequent route planning tasks. Special interest concerned the role of regions within the environments. Results from Experiment 1 suggest that the regions are perceived and encoded in(More)
Although the term " Wayfinding " has been defined by several authors, it subsumes a whole set of tasks that involve different cognitive processes, drawing on different cognitive components. Research on wayfinding has been conducted with different paradigms using a variety of wayfinding tasks. This makes it difficult to compare the results and implications(More)
Efficient spatial navigation requires not only accurate spatial knowledge but also the selection of appropriate strategies. Using a novel paradigm that allowed us to distinguish between beacon, associative cue, and place strategies, we investigated the effects of cognitive aging on the selection and adoption of navigation strategies in humans. Participants(More)
For large numbers of targets, path planning is a complex and computationally expensive task. Humans, however, usually solve such tasks quickly and efficiently. We present experiments studying human path planning performance and the cognitive processes and heuristics involved. Twenty-five places were arranged on a regular grid in a large room. Participants(More)
The integration of spatial information perceived from different viewpoints is a frequent, yet largely unexplored, cognitive ability. In two experiments, participants saw two presentations, each consisting of three targets-that is, illuminated tiles on the floor-before walking the shortest possible path across all targets. In Experiment 1, participants(More)
What kinds of strategies do humans employ when confronted with a complex spatial task, and how do they verbalize these strategies? Previous research concerned with the well-known traveling salesperson problem (TSP) typically aimed at the identification of a generally applicable heuristics that adequately represents human behavior in relation to the abstract(More)