Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Abstract

The goal was to test the role of verbal and visuospatial working memory in wayfinding and direction giving in an indoor environment using a dual task paradigm. One hundred ninety-two participants were asked to find their way through one floor of a complex building and to provide directions for a fictitious recipient to find the way in one of three conditions: control (no secondary task), verbal dual task (word-nonword judgments as secondary task), or visuospatial dual task (clock hand judgments as secondary task). Wayfinding was slower in the visuospatial dual task condition than in the control condition, with the verbal condition intermediate. Directions were less accurate in the visuospatial dual task condition than in control and verbal conditions. Women provided more information in wayfinding directions than did men. Together, these findings indicate that visuospatial working memory plays an important role in wayfinding and direction giving in an indoor environment.

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