Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Yamamoto, Naohide

Subject Headings

Knowledge representation (Information theory), Cognition in old age, Space perception, Geographical perception, spatial learning, aging, navigation, map, ground-level, aerial, route, survey

Abstract

This study examined the impact of healthy aging on two important factors that are common in spatial learning. The first is the perspective a person views an environment from. The second is the sequence that the items are encountered in the environment. In order to test the effects of these factors on spatial learning, participants watched four videos in which they learned two environments from the ground-level perspective and another two from an aerial perspective. One video of each perspective presented each side of the rectangular layout sequentially and the other presented the layout in a random order. After each video, participants created a map of the environment to determine how well they learned the layout. This study compared performance between healthy young adults and healthy senior citizens. It was anticipated that healthy senior citizens would show a similar pattern of learning to healthy young adults with the exception of having a higher level of error. Overall, the present study demonstrated that people tend to learn a layout better from an aerial perspective than from a ground-level perspective, that participants were able to learn a layout better when presented in a sequential order than a random order, and that while there was not a significant difference between senior citizens and young adults on the aerial perspective conditions, seniors performed significantly worse than young adults on the conditions presented from the ground-level perspective

Included in

Psychology Commons

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