Published On: 25/01/2005|Categories: 2003–2007, Vol.26 (1), Vol.26 (2005)|

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When navigating by path integration, knowledge of one’s position becomes increasingly uncertain as one walks from a known location. This uncertainty decreases if one perceives a known landmark location nearby. We hypothesized that remembering landmarks might serve a similar purpose for path integration as directly perceiving them. If this is true, walking near a remembered landmark location should enhance response consistency in path integration tasks. To test this, we asked participants to view a target and then attempt to walk to it without vision. Some participants saw the target plus a landmark during the preview. Compared with no-landmark trials, response consistency nearly doubled when participants passed near the remembered landmark location. Similar results were obtained when participants could audibly perceive the landmark while walking. A control experiment ruled out perceptual context effects during the preview. We conclude that remembered landmarks can enhance path integration even though they are not directly perceived.

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