First Direct Evidence of Cue Integration in Reorientation: A New Paradigm

Cognitive Science 42 (S3):923-936 (2018)
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There are several models of the use of geometric and feature cues in reorientation. The adaptive combination approach posits that people integrate cues with weights that depend on cue salience and learning, or, when discrepancies are large, they choose between cues based on these variables. In a new paradigm designed to evaluate integration and choice, disoriented participants attempted to return to a heading direction, in a trapezoidal enclosure in which feature and geometric cues both unambiguously specified a heading, but later the feature was moved. With discrepancies greater than 90 degrees, participants choose geometry. With smaller discrepancies, integration appeared in three of five situations; otherwise, participants used geometry alone. Variation depended on direction of feature movement and whether the nearest corner was acute or obtuse. The results have implications for contrasting adaptive combination and modularity theory, and for future research, offering a new paradigm for reorientation research, and for testing cue integration more broadly.



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