ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2024, Vol. 56 ›› Issue (1): 1-14.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2024.00001

• 研究报告 •    下一篇


宋晓蕾1,2(), 李宜倩1, 张凯歌1   

  1. 1陕西师范大学心理学院, 西安 710062
    2陕西省行为与认知神经科学重点实验室, 西安 710062
  • 收稿日期:2023-06-05 发布日期:2023-11-23 出版日期:2024-01-25
  • 通讯作者: 宋晓蕾
  • 基金资助:

Regional differences of large-scale spatial orientation ability in virtual environment

SONG Xiaolei1,2(), LI Yiqian1, ZHANG Kai Ge1   

  1. 1School of Psychology, Shaanxi Normal University
    2Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Behavior and Cognitive Neuroscience, Xi’an 710062, China
  • Received:2023-06-05 Online:2023-11-23 Published:2024-01-25
  • Contact: SONG Xiaolei


基于空间参照系理论, 本文采用虚拟现实技术探讨了大尺度空间定向能力的地域差异及其原因。实验1采用基于两种空间参照系且生态效度更高的路线重走与回溯任务以考察空间定向能力的地域差异; 实验2进一步采用基于空间参照转换灵活性的定向接近任务以澄清该差异产生的原因; 实验3通过在任务前激活环境中心参照, 提高转换灵活性以改善南方被试大尺度空间定向能力。结果发现, 大尺度空间定向能力存在地域差异, 北方被试更擅长环境中心参照的任务, 南方被试的自我中心参照在任务中有更大优势作用; 说明该地域差异除与个体空间参照使用偏好有关之外, 还与其空间参照转换灵活性有关; 而当南方被试环境中心参照被激活, 任务绩效显著提升。

关键词: 空间定向, 空间参照系, 地域差异, 导航任务


Spatial orientation is one of the key capabilities of spatial navigation. Orientation in physical space, or large-scale spatial orientation, refers to the process by which an individual locates and navigates in a large-scale environment. Various geographic environments influence how individuals represent spatial orientation during navigation. Based on spatial reference frame theory, this study used a desktop virtual environment navigation task to explore the regional differences in large-scale spatial orientation abilities and their causes. The study findings offer valuable insights for designing navigation in different geographic areas to avoid safety accidents arising from navigation errors.

Experiment 1 employed desktop virtual reality technology to clarify potential differences in large-scale spatial orientation abilities using the Route-repetition and Route-retracing tasks. Experiment 2 explored the underlying causes of regional disparities by utilizing the directional approach task, which assessed the flexibility of spatial reference frame transformation. Experiment 3 aimed to improve the large-scale spatial orientation abilities among participants from the southern region by activating the environmental spatial reference frame prior to the task.

The results indicated significant differences between participants from the northern and southern regions in Experiment 1, with the former showing significantly higher performance in the Route-retracing task. It was observed that participants from the northern region preferred to utilize the environmental reference frame, while participants from the southern region demonstrated an advantage in using the egocentric reference frame. Additionally, participants performed better in the Route-repetition task compared to the Route-retracing task. In Experiment 2, the correct response rate for the same direction in the directional approach task was higher than for different directions. Furthermore, in the directional asymptote task, participants from the northern region achieved higher correct response rates compared to their southern counterparts. Experiment 3 revealed that the group with the activated environmental reference frame demonstrated higher performance compared to the control group.

This study encompassed three experiments, yielding the following findings: (1) Spatial orientation abilities varied among participants from different regions. Participants from the northern region displayed superior performance in the Route-retracing task that required an environmental reference frame, while participants from the southern region preferred to utilize the egocentric reference frame. (2) These differences were attributed to disparities in the use and flexibility of spatial reference frames. Performance variations observed in the Route-retracing task between participants from different regions were linked to their capacity for flexible spatial reference frame switching during navigation tasks. (3) Activating the environmental reference frame for participants from the southern region enhanced their performance of large-scale spatial orientation tasks effectively. Specifically, incorporating a first-person perspective of the surrounding landmark structures in the navigation design facilitated the formation of an environmental reference frame for users. This study supports the spatial reference frame theory and embodied spatial transformation theory, offering recommendations for differentiated navigation interface design.

Key words: spatial orientation, spatial reference frame, regional differences, navigation task