ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2019, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (11): 1219-1228.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01219

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


张为威, 黄建平, 宛小昂()   

  1. 清华大学心理学系, 北京 100084
  • 收稿日期:2019-02-25 出版日期:2019-11-25 发布日期:2019-09-24
  • 通讯作者: 宛小昂
  • 基金资助:
    * 国家自然科学基金项目资助(31200758)

Influence of expectations on human path integration

ZHANG Weiwei, HUANG Jianping, WAN Xiaoang()   

  1. Department of Psychology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
  • Received:2019-02-25 Online:2019-11-25 Published:2019-09-24
  • Contact: WAN Xiaoang


人们通过整合自身运动信息进行的空间巡航称为路径整合。本研究采用头盔式虚拟现实和分段式虚拟迷宫, 探究个体的预期如何影响其路径整合的准确性。任务要求被试从包含4个或8个路段的外出路径的起点出发, 行经所有路段后到达外出路径的终点, 再从终点直接返回起点。三组被试在实验前接受不同的指导语, 并因此对正确返航距离产生不同的预期。实验结果表明, 个体返回起点的行为反应受到外出路径特点的影响, 而且反应的准确性在实际情形违背预期时比符合预期时更低。这样的研究结果表明, 预期作为一种非感知觉因素而影响人们进行路径整合, 体现了人类路径整合的高度适应性和策略性。

关键词: 预期, 路径整合, 空间巡航, 虚拟现实


Path integration refers to a type of navigation in which navigators integrate information regarding self-motion in order to update the spatial relationship between themselves and the starting point of their journey. Human path integration has been often assessed via a path completion task in which the participants travel along several segments and then attempt to directly return to the origin of an outbound path. Previous research has revealed the influence of non-sensory factors on human path integration, such as memory, previous experience, target knowledge, and route decision-making. It remains unclear, however, how individuals’ expectations regarding the outbound paths influence their return-to-origin behavior.

In the present study, we used head-mounted display virtual reality to present hallway mazes and provided different instructions to 3 groups of participants in order to manipulate their expectations concerning the correct homing distance (i.e., the Euclidean distance between the starting and ending points of an outbound path) before they performed the path completion task. Specifically, the 3 groups were informed that the number of segments of each outbound path was positively correlated, negatively correlated, or uncorrelated with the correct homing distance. In actuality, we used an orthogonal design to make the correct homing distance uncorrelated to the number of segments.

The results revealed that the participants exhibited less accurate return-to-origin responses when their expectations concerning the correct homing distance were violated, compared to when these expectations were confirmed by the actual experiences. When the participants expected the correct homing distance to be positively correlated with the number of segments, they showed even greater errors for more complex outbound paths than those who expected a negative correlation. That being said, it should also be noted that all participants’ return-to-origin responses were subject to the influence of the number of segments and correct homing distance, even though only one group of participants was instructed to have valid expectations.

Taken together, these results demonstrate the influence of expectation on human path integration, although only having valid expectations cannot eliminate the influence of path properties on path integration. Moreover, individuals may rely more on expectation for more complex outbound paths. These findings therefore highlight the important roles that non-perceptual factors play in human path integration, and demonstrate that human path integration is an adaptive and strategic process.

Key words: expectation, path integration, spatial navigation, virtual reality