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Paper in ' Psychological Research'

The paper ‘Putting emotions in routes: the influence of emotionally laden landmarks on spatial memory’ by Francesco Ruotolo, Michiel Claessen and Ineke van der Ham just appeared in Psychological Research.

Here you can find the abstract of the paper :

The aim of this study was to assess how people memorize spatial information of emotionally laden landmarks along a route and if the emotional value of the landmarks affects the way metric and configurational properties of the route itself are represented. Three groups of participants were asked to watch a movie of a virtual walk along a route. The route could contain positive, negative, or neutral landmarks. Afterwards, participants were asked to: (a) recognize the landmarks; (b) imagine to walk distances between landmarks; (c) indicate the position of the landmarks along the route; (d) judge the length of the route; (e) draw the route. Results showed that participants who watched the route with positive landmarks were more accurate in locating the landmarks along the route and drawing the route. On the other hand, participants in the negative condition judged the route as longer than participants in the other two conditions and were less accurate in mentally reproducing distances between landmarks. The data will be interpreted in the light of the “feelings-as information theory” by Schwarz (2010) and the most recent evidence about the effect of emotions on spatial memory. In brief, the evidence collected in this study supports the idea that spatial cognition emerges from the interaction between an organism and contextual characteristics.

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