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Lecture 14

46-358 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Cognitive Map, Spatial Cognition

Course Code
PSYC 3580
Anne Baird

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Mental Imagery and Cognitive Maps
Imagery: mental representation of stimuli when those stimuli are not physically present.
- Analog: depictive/pictorial, like real stimulus, similar to perception
- Propositional: abstract, descriptive, similar to verbal description
Spatial cognition: mental processes involved in thoughts about cognitive maps, memory
for world that we navigate, and keeping track of objects in a spatial array
Cognitive map: mental representation of geographic information, including a person’s
surrounding environment
Support for analog code
- The relative time to scan distances on mental images similar to relative time to travel
distances in the real world.
- An image imagined to be in central field is clearer than an imagine imagined to be in
the peripheral field
- Illusory conjunctions can occur by combining features of images and actual stimuli
- Images and perception of real stimuli use some of the same areas of the brain
Support for propositional code
- Alternate interpretations are harder to see
Cognitive maps: seven biases
- Bias in estimating distance on number of intervening cities
- Bias in estimating based on semantic category effect
- Landmark effect: we often think distance to a landmark is shorter than the distance to
a non-landmark
- 90 degree heuristic: we estimate that angles are closer to right angles than they are
- Symmetry heuristic: we may estimate a curve to be more symmetric than it is
- Alignment heuristic: we will line up several different countries, buildings, images in a
straight row
- Rotation heuristic: we rotate one figure so that the border is close to vertical or
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