Spatial Navigation and Working Memory
Spatial navigation is a complex skill that relies on many aspects of cognition. The following
studies aimed to clarify the role of working memory in spatial navigation, and particularly, the
potentially differential contributions of verbal and visuospatial working memory. Study 1
leveraged individual differences to understand how working memory differs among types of
navigators and the predictiveness of verbal and visuospatial working memory. Participants
completed multiple measures of verbal and visuospatial working memory and spatial navigation.
Study 2 further evaluated the impact of a working memory load on spatial navigation performance.
Using a dual-task paradigm, the decrement (or not) of performance on spatial navigation can be
compared between control, verbal, and visuospatial conditions. Study 1 showed that individual
differences in visuospatial working memory are more predictive than verbal working memory.
However, Study 2 provides evidence for the necessary role for both verbal and visuospatial
- Master of Science
- Psychological Sciences
- West Lafayette