Path integration is a process with which navigators derive their current position and orientation by integrating self-motion signals along a locomotion trajectory. It has been suggested that path integration becomes disproportionately erroneous when the trajectory crosses itself. However, there is a possibility that this previous finding was confounded by effects of the length of a traveled path and the amount of turns experienced along the path, two factors that are known to affect path integration performance. The present study was designed to investigate whether the crossover of a locomotion trajectory truly increases errors of path integration. In an experiment, blindfolded human navigators were guided along four paths that varied in their lengths and turns, and attempted to walk directly back to the beginning of the paths. Only one of the four paths contained a crossover. Results showed that errors yielded from the path containing the crossover were not always larger than those observed in other paths, and the errors were attributed solely to the effects of longer path lengths or greater degrees of turns. These results demonstrated that path crossover does not always cause significant disruption in path integration processes. Implications of the present findings for models of path integration are discussed.
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Yamamoto, N., Meléndez, ,J.A., & Menzies, D. T. (2014). Homing by path integration when a locomotion trajectory crosses itself. Perception, 43(10), 1049-1060. doi:10.1068/p7624