Object location memory: the interplay of multiple representations. Academic Article uri icon


  • This article reports three experiments in which the representational nature of human object location memory was studied. The results show that multiple frames of reference can be used to encode the spatial relationships among objects. Depending on their dominancy, availability, and validity, these multiple representations interact to determine memory performance. Specifically, representations that are automatically encoded and extensively practiced are more dominant, and their availability improves performance when they are valid. On the other hand, when the dominant representations are available but invalid, people may have to resort to the less dominant representations. As a result, the availability of these dominant but invalid representations can actually hurt performance, due to interference. If these interfering representations are eliminated, the performance is again improved. The implications of these findings for general human spatial cognition are discussed.

published proceedings

  • Mem Cognit

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, H., Johnson, T. R., Sun, Y., & Zhang, J.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Wang, Hongbin||Johnson, Todd R||Sun, Yanlong||Zhang, Jiajie

publication date

  • January 2005