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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology