Combining Path Integration and Remembered Landmarks When Navigating without Vision

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Abstract

This study investigated the interaction between remembered landmark and path integration strategies for estimating current location when walking in an environment without vision. We asked whether observers navigating without vision only rely on path integration information to judge their location, or whether remembered landmarks also influence judgments. Participants estimated their location in a hallway after viewing a target (remembered landmark cue) and then walking blindfolded to the same or a conflicting location (path integration cue). We found that participants averaged remembered landmark and path integration information when they judged that both sources provided congruent information about location, which resulted in more precise estimates compared to estimates made with only path integration. In conclusion, humans integrate remembered landmarks and path integration in a gated fashion, dependent on the congruency of the information. Humans can flexibly combine information about remembered landmarks with path integration cues while navigating without visual information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere72170
JournalPloS one
Volume8
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 5 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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