Spatial reconstruction following virtual exploration in children aged 5–9 years: effects of age, gender and activity–passivity

Sandamas, George and Foreman, Nigel (2007) Spatial reconstruction following virtual exploration in children aged 5–9 years: effects of age, gender and activity–passivity. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 27 (2). pp. 126-134. ISSN 0272-4944

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Abstract

Children of 6–7, 7–8, and 8–9 years explored a virtual environment (VE) consisting of eight buildings distributed in a square arena marked off into four quadrants, as employed in an earlier real-space study. The children twice experienced a virtual space model, actively exploring (operating an input device), passively observing (watching the displacements made by an active participant), or viewing from eight static, pre-set perimeter viewpoints. They then used cardboard models to reconstruct the environment. Consistent with the earlier real-space study, performance (judged from placement distance errors) improved with age and with learning across two successive trials. Also consistent was that no difference was obtained between males and females, despite this having been expected in the VE version of the task. However, dissimilarity from the earlier study was that participants in the active exploration condition showed no advantage over those who viewed the environment from the perimeter. Moreover, those who passively observed the displacements made by an active participant actually demonstrated significantly superior spatial learning. Reasons for the absence of any active advantage, and the presence of a passive advantage, were discussed.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:Middlesex University Schools and Centres > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Middlesex University Schools and Centres > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Language, Learning and Cognition group
Citations on ISI Web of Science:2
ID Code:3000
Permissions granted by publisher:Post refereed version as permitted by publisher.
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Deposited On:06 Nov 2009 05:39
Last Modified:03 Dec 2014 15:57

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