The metrics of spatial distance traversed during mental imagery
SourceJournal of Experimental Psychology : Learning, Memory and Cognition, 30, 6, (2004), pp. 1211-1218
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
Journal of Experimental Psychology : Learning, Memory and Cognition
SubjectExperimental Psychopathology and Treatment
The authors conducted 2 experiments to study the metrics of spatial distance in a mental imagery task. In both experiments, participants first memorized the layout of a building containing 10 rooms with 24 objects. Participants then received mental imagery instructions and imagined how they walked through the building from one room to another. The authors manipulated Euclidean distance involved in these imaginary motions: Spatial distance measured in centimeters on the layout was either short or long. Independently, they varied categorical distance: The motions led through one room or two rooms. The time needed to imagine motions and response times to test probes indicated that both Euclidean distance and categorical distance affected mental imagery. The authors discuss the new finding of categorical distance effects in mental imagery and relate the results to earlier failures to find Euclidean distance effects in formally equivalent studies of narrative comprehension.
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