Parsing surrounding space into regions

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Surrounding space is not inherently organized, but we tend to treat it as though it consisted of regions (e.g., front, back, right, and left). The current studies show that these conceptual regions have characteristics that reflect our typical interactions with space. Three experiments examined the relative sizes and resolutions of front, back, left, and right around oneself. Front, argued to be the most important horizontal region, was found to be (a) largest, (b) recalled with the greatest precision, and (c) described with the greatest degree of detail. Our findings suggest that some of the characteristics of the category model proposed by Huttenlocher, Hedges, and Duncan (1991) regarding memory for pictured circular displays may be generalized to space around oneself. More broadly, our results support and extend thespatial framework analysis of representation of surrounding space (Franklin & Tversky, 1990).


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Publication Title

Memory and Cognition

Published Citation

Franklin, N., Henkel, L. A., & Zangas, T. (1995). Parsing surrounding space into regions. Memory and Cognition, 23.4, 397-407.



Peer Reviewed