Submited on: 28 Jan 2011 07:51:54 PM GMT
Published on: 30 Jan 2011 04:08:09 PM GMT

Thank you for your very instructive review. I will try to give an answer to your questions and suggestions.


i- Temporal data for the both memory short and long will be introduced in the introduction of future work, thank you for having mentioned it. In our experiment, we define "short term memory" as a preparatory step for the construction and organization of a task for immediate use, AND also as a system of storage; attentional or not; enabling the quasi- immediate recall of visual information needed to perform a given task, in our case spatial orientation. Its capacity is measured here empirically by performance or success in the wayfinding task, considering the number of intersections and turns and memorized landmarks. We operationalized the number of words or "chunks", usually used by authors to test the capacity of short term memory, by the number of critical turns and landmarks recalled after a single learning phase. To enable participants to memorize the itinerary, no particular instruction was given; participants memorized the itinerary on the basis of 2D maps or direct viewing in google street view, as they most often do in real life when they are in a novel environment. After execution of the navigation task, we asked them to answer some questions relative to their strategies of navigation (or how they have tried to memorize their trajectory).


ii- In the learning phase, participants in the direct viewing condition in google street view proceeded as if on their own. The experimenter was silent, and the participant was "deaf". The experimenter pressed on the arrows with the mouse in google street view, and the participant had to memorize visually without any verbal instruction. After the learning phase, the participant had to find the itinerary again by himself/herself, but could ask for help if needed. These moments were recorded. Evaluations of distances travelled and drawing a mental representation of the itinerary were requested after the learning phase and task execution. Also, a few landmarks (roads and shops from the trips) were shown for visual-spatial recognition. These results were not included in this article here.


iii- The itinerary was defined on the basis of physical parameters of relative complexity such as the distance between starting point and target location, the number of intersections, the number of critical turns to take, and the number of landmarks. In the test phase, a point of departure and an arrival point were indicated, and two intermediate reference locations were made explicit to help memorizing the itinerary in the 2D map condition. In the direct viewing condition, the trajectory from the starting point to destination was shown.


iv- The "supervisor" was present next to the participant from the beginning to the end of  the experiment. The responses he/she was allowed to give relative to the experiment were prepared in advance and limited.

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