A different point of view: The role of working memory and sense of direction in the transformation of egocentric to allocentric survey knowledge.
This study examined how participants performed on two methods of testing allocentric survey knowledge. A within-route method of testing, and a between-route method of testing. The involvement of different working memory components on performance was examined. This was done using a dual-task method, in which participants learn routes from videos while performing a visual, spatial, or lexical interference tasks or without any interference. Participants were also divided between a good and poor sense of direction group, by their score on a sense of direction questionnaire. This allowed for differences in the involvement of working memory components to be examined for good and poor sense of direction participants. Results showed that performance on the between-route method correlated strongly with other allocentric survey knowledge-type tasks, while the within-route method of testing did not. The between-route method also showed a significant difference between good and poor sense of direction participants, while the within-route method of testing failed to do so. Finally, the different aspects of working memory involved between good and poor sense of direction participants more closely resembled that of earlier research on allocentric survey knowledge on the between-route method. No differences in aspects of working memory conditions compared to their respective control conditions were found on within-route performance. These results provide support for the notion that a between-route method of testing allocentric survey knowledge could be superior compared to a within-route method of testing.