Context Effects in Memory for Routes

  • Karl F. Wender
  • Daniel Haun
  • Björn Rasch
  • Matthias Blümke
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2685)


When people experience a new environment they first develop landmark knowledge and second route knowledge. Route knowledge is thought to be different from survey knowledge which may develop with additional experience. The present paper describes three experiments in which participants learned a route through (1) a real maze, (2) a virtual maze, or (3) our university library. Participants were tested for their spatial knowledge using a cued recall procedure. Testing was done either in context, i.e. along the route, or out of context, i.e. in a separate, neutral room.

Results showed a clear context effect. In addition, the context effect generalized along the route in the real environments. However, no generalization was observed in the virtual version. Application of multinomial models revealed that the structure of the knowledge acquired was more complex than assumed by popular models of route knowledge.


Virtual Environment Context Effect Multinomial Model Decision Point Context Condition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl F. Wender
    • 1
  • Daniel Haun
    • 1
  • Björn Rasch
    • 1
  • Matthias Blümke
    • 2
  1. 1.University of TrierTrierGermany
  2. 2.University of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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