We seek to understand how people learn and remember the locations of objects in their environments and how they use this knowledge to keep track of their location and orientation and to find their way from place to place. Additional studies are examining mechanisms of retrieval in semantic and episodic memory using priming paradigms (e.g., semantic priming, priming in item recognition).
Here are some of the questions guiding our current research on spatial memory and navigation:
1. How do people keep track of their location and orientation when they locomote in a familiar environment?
2. How are egocentric and allocentric representations of space processed and integrated during navigation?
3. What kinds of mental representations and processes are used in spatial pointing tasks?
4. To what extent are spatial relations represented more strongly in directions congruent than in directions incongruent with intrinsic axes of an environment?
5. How do humans acquire spatial memories of large-scale environments?
6. What is the nature of spatial memories acquired from nonvisual modalities, and how do they compare to spatial memories acquired visually?