Assessment of between-floor structural and topological properties on cognitive map development in multi-level built environments
The present study investigated cognitive map development in multilevel built environments. Three experiments were conducted in complex virtual buildings to examine the effects of five between-floor structural factors that may impede the accuracy of humans’ ability to build multilevel cognitive maps. Results from Experiments 1 and 2 (of three experiments) revealed that difficulties in developing multilevel cognitive maps are not solely caused by the z-axis offset, as is suggested in the literature, but are due to the factorial combination of a between-floor overlap and a z-axis offset. Results from Experiment 2 showed that this process becomes substantially more difficult when the reference directions between different floors have an angular offset from each other. Finally, results from Experiment 3 demonstrated that confusing between-floor heading shifts in aligned buildings did not make it reliably harder to build multilevel cognitive maps. The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of theories of mental representations in multilayered three-dimensional spaces, as well as for architectural design.
Citation: Li, H. and Giudice, N.A. (2018) Assessment of between-floor structural and topological properties on cognitive map development in multi-level built environments. Spatial Cognition & Computation. 18(3), 138-172. DOI: 10.1080/13875868.2017.1384829.