Localisation Without The Use of External Cues

C Anastasiou*, N. Bradshaw, Christopher Nolan, Oliver Baumann, Allen Cheung, Naohide Yamamoto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review


External and internal spatial cues provide information for finding one’s location in an environment. Current literature has demonstrated how external
stimuli are utilised for localisation. However, the extent to which internal mechanisms such as path integration contribute to localisation remains
unclear. Due to the heavy reliance on external (i.e., visual, auditory and tactile) input for localisation, path integration has been viewed as a primitive
localisation mechanism. The current study aims to show that there may be more value to the path integration system than previously assumed.
Following from Cheung et al.’s (2014, PLOS Computational Biology) theorisation of internal localisation mechanisms known as the particle filter
model, it was hypothesised that humans would be able to localise without external input in an environment with one-fold rotational symmetry,
provided that humans had memorised and are aware of the layout of the environment. Fifty participants were exposed to L-shaped and square
environments (one- and four-fold rotationally symmetric, respectively), and subsequently disoriented and guided along non-structured paths without
visual, auditory and tactile cues. To test their localisation, they were repeatedly queried as to which segment of the environments they believed they
were located. Consistent with the hypothesis, despite following the identical paths in the two environments, participants found their locations above
chance level only in the L-shaped environment. Furthermore, these participants improved their localisation accuracy as they walked farther, suggesting
that their localisation resulted from spatial cues that they accumulated through path integration. These findings demonstrate that the internal
mechanisms can make a significant contribution to localisation
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
EventThe Australasian Experimental Psychology Society Conference - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 9 Apr 202111 Apr 2021


ConferenceThe Australasian Experimental Psychology Society Conference
Abbreviated titleEPC 2021
Internet address


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