Orientation and Perspective Dependence in Route and Survey Learning

Amy L. Shelton, Timothy P. McNamara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


Three experiments investigated the role of egocentric orientation in subsequent memory for layouts learned via route (ground-level) and survey (aerial or overview) perspectives. Participants learned virtual environments from text descriptions (Experiment 1) or visual presentation (Experiments 1-3). In all experiments, scene recognition for route and survey images revealed a cost for switching perspective from study to test. In addition, recognition performance was facilitated when the test view matched the observer's learned orientation but only for the same-perspective recognition test. Experiment 3 demonstrated orientation dependence in judgments of relative direction, with a strong emphasis on initial heading. Together, these results suggest that establishing a reference system for representing spatial information is dependent on specific characteristics of the learning situation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-170
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language


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