The Effects of Perceptual Grouping and Category Boundary Salience on Location Memory


The type of information used to process spatial layouts was assessed by observing the effect of spatial category salience and perceptual grouping (a non-spatial category), on a location memory task. Participants (N = 64) learnt the pairings between twenty objects and twenty marked locations within a “house”. They then placed the objects in the remembered locations, without the aid of location markers. Spatial category salience was manipulated by presenting the house as an open space (no boundary condition) or by dividing the space into quadrants (boundary condition). Perceptual grouping was manipulated by using identical shapes (control condition) or sets of shapes which identified triads of objects (perceptual grouping condition). Both non-spatial and spatial categories improved location memory accuracy. The non- spatial category produced a prototype effect and the spatial category produced a subdivision effect. Different patterns of category dominance (spatial vs. non-spatial) were observed for level of accuracy compared to distortion effects.

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Farran, E. , Connell, S. & Pharwaha, B. (2012). The Effects of Perceptual Grouping and Category Boundary Salience on Location Memory. Psychology, 3, 953-958. doi: 10.4236/psych.2012.311143.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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