Finding the return path: allo- versus egocentric perspective

Abstract

In a series of two experiments we investigated the influence of an allocentric and egocentric perspective on landmark-based wayfinding and finding the according return path. Participants had to learn a route consisting of twelve intersections with four different verbal landmarks at each intersection. They were asked to memorize at least one of the landmarks for providing a route description after the learning phase, either in the learning direction (initial path) or in the opposite direction (return path). In the allocentric experiment, a clear preference and higher performance was demonstrated for landmarks located at the position before the intersection and in the direction of turn, while in the egocentric perspective landmarks in the direction of turn were better remembered and used more frequently, independent of the position before or behind the intersection. These results will be discussed with respect to current research on structural salience in landmark-based wayfinding.


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