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Effects of active and passive exploration of the built environment on memory during wayfinding

journal contribution
posted on 2018-12-01, 00:00 authored by A Afrooz, D White, B Parolin
Previous research shows that travel type influences cognitive mapping processes. However, little is known about the effect of active versus passive exploration of the built environment on visual processing. This paper aims to investigate the differences between active and passive travellers in terms of their recognition memory for details of the visual environment. Participants were randomly assigned to either active or passive travel conditions. Participants in the active group navigated a pre-defined route on a university campus by walking, and passive participants followed an experimenter around the same route. We examined the effect of active travel by measuring performance on spatial and visual memory tasks and by tracking participants' eye movements during a scene recognition task. Active travellers had better recognition of scenes encountered during way finding and were better able to discriminate the veridical orientation of these scenes from mirror-reversed copies. The results indicate that active travellers had enhanced visual memory for the built environment. Results are discussed in the context of visual memory and urban design and place-making for legible cities.

History

Journal

Applied geography

Volume

101

Pagination

68-74

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

0143-6228

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, Elsevier Ltd.

Publisher

Elsevier