Place learning in virtual space I: Acquisition, overshadowing, and transfer

W. Jake Jacobs, Holly E. Laurance, Kevin G.F. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Three experiments showed that, in virtual space, humans learn to find an invisible target that remains in a fixed location relative to distal cues. Experiment 1 showed that people rapidly learned to locate an invisible target in a computer-generated virtual arena. Participants searched the appropriate place intensely when, on a probe trial, the target was removed. Experiment 2 showed that two groups of participants, one with a visible and one with an invisible target, learned to locate the target in the virtual arena. A probe trial, during which the target was removed, showed that participants from both groups searched the former location of the target in the virtual arena, suggesting the presence of proximal cues did not interfere with place learning. Experiment 3 showed that, following place learning, people directly approach the location of the invisible target from novel start positions. The data were discussed in terms of spatial learning and memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-541
Number of pages21
JournalLearning and Motivation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Place learning in virtual space I: Acquisition, overshadowing, and transfer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this