Spatial demands of concurrent tasks can compromise spatial learning of a virtual environment: implications for active input control

Sandamas, George and Foreman, Nigel (2014) Spatial demands of concurrent tasks can compromise spatial learning of a virtual environment: implications for active input control. SAGE Open, 4 (1) . ISSN 2158-2440 [Article] (doi:10.1177/2158244014525424)

PDF - Published version (with publisher's formatting)
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (304kB) | Preview


While active explorers in a real-world environment typically remember more about its spatial layout than participants who passively observe that exploration, this does not reliably occur when the exploration takes place in a virtual environment (VE). We argue that this may be because an active explorer in a VE is effectively performing a secondary interfering concurrent task by virtue of having to operate a manual input device to control their virtual displacements. Six groups of participants explored a virtual room containing six distributed objects, either actively or passively while performing concurrent tasks that were simple (such as card turning) or that made more complex cognitive and motoric demands comparable with those typically imposed by input device control. Tested for their memory for virtual object locations, passive controls (with no concurrent task) demonstrated the best spatial learning, arithmetically (but not significantly) better than the active group. Passive groups given complex concurrent tasks performed as poorly as the active group. A concurrent articulatory suppression task reduced memory for object names but not spatial location memory. It was concluded that spatial demands imposed by input device control should be minimized when training or testing spatial memory in VEs, and should be recognized as competing for cognitive capacity in spatial working memory.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): applied psychology, psychology, social sciences, computer applications, computer science, environmental psychology, cognitivism, approaches, experimental psychology
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 17538
Notes on copyright: © 2014 the Author(s). This article has been published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. Without requesting permission from the Author or SAGE, you may further copy, distribute, transmit, and adapt the article, with the condition that the Author and SAGE Open are in each case credited as the source of the article.
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Dr George Sandamas
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2015 09:46
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 23:49

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.