Locally Euclidean Cognitive Maps for a Spherical Surface
Misun Kim, Christian F Doeller, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Germany
Posters 2 Poster
Pacific Ballroom H-O
Fri, 26 Aug, 19:30 - 21:30 Pacific Time (UTC -7)
Humans can build cognitive maps of the world. Whether people can adapt and build a map of a novel environment in which they can no longer rely on the familiar Euclidean geometrical intuition is an intriguing question that can help us to understand the capacity and limitation of human cognition. Here, we conducted an object-location memory test and a path integration task on the spherical and planar surface with immersive virtual reality (VR). Participants could recall the object location well above the chance on both planar and sphere environment, but the direction error was particularly large for the sphere condition when the target was farther away. This result is in line with the locally planar maps hypothesis. Participants also showed systematic overturn bias on the sphere, as a consequence of following the Euclidean geometrical rule on the spherical surface. Our findings showed the capacity of building a cognitive map for a non-flat surface with a strong Euclidean prior.