The Acquisition of Spatial Knowledge in an Unfamiliar Campus Environment

Victor R. Schinazi, Russell A. Epstein, Daniele Nardi

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearch


We examined the acquisition of spatial knowledge of an unfamiliar university campus over three visits. In their first visit, subjects learned two routes located at different areas of the campus and were asked to remember the name and position of buildings on each route. During the following weeks, subjects learned these routes for a second and third time, together with a connecting route. At each stage, their integrated configurational knowledge was probed by asking them to complete a variety of tasks, including direction estimation, distance estimation, and sketch mapping. Preliminary results reveal at least three different learning patterns. Whereas the majority of subjects exhibited a typical stage-like development, others quickly developed an accurate cognitive map after one or two sessions, and a third group never developed an integrated representation. These individual differences are discussed in relation to Siegel and White’s (1975) framework and Montello’s (1998) continuous framework.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event50th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society - Boston, United States
Duration: 19 Nov 200922 Nov 2009
Conference number: 50th


Conference50th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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