Three experiments using human participants examined a major prediction derived from cognitive mapping theory of place learning: In the absence of proximal cues, place performance depends on relations among distal cues. Experiments 1 and 2 showed that, after learning to find an invisible target in computer-generated (C-G) space, removing the full set of distal stimuli disrupted place performance but removing subsets of distal stimuli did not. These results demonstrate that the full array of distal cues are critical to stimulus control of place performance in this C-G space whereas individual stimuli are not. Experiment 3 showed that, after learning to find an invisible target in the same C-G space, changes in topographical relations among the distal stimuli disrupted place performance. As predicted by cognitive mapping theory, the results suggest that participants use relations among distal cues to guide place performance in C-G space. In addition, the results support the assertion that place learning in C-G space is comparable to both rat and human place learning in mundane space.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology