Showing posts with label applied research. Show all posts
Showing posts with label applied research. Show all posts

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Mental Maps

Jacobson, R. D. (2006) Mental Maps. In: Warf, B. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Sage: London. pp. 299-301. Invited

A mental map is psychological or internal representation of places. The term arose during the psychological turn in human geography in the late 1960s as a key component of behavioral geography which concerned itself with addressing the role of  environmental perception as a mediating factor between a humans action and their environment. Mental maps were viewed as a tool, a key to unlocking the connection between someone's understanding of their environment and their spatial choices and behavior.  This was an
explicit attempt to explain human spatial activities by understanding them overlain upon a foundation of human behavioral processes. Mental maps are one of many terms  now known by  the umbrella term  of  cognitive  mapping. The  rationale for their study is straightforward:  our quality of life is greatly dependent on our ability to make informed spatial decisions through the processing and synthesis of spatial information, within a variety of situations, at differing  scales.  While attempting to navigate or explore an
environment we all have a spatial awareness of our surroundings, to varying extents. 

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Cognitive mapping without sight: Four preliminary studies of spatial learning

Jacobson, R.D. (1998) Cognitive mapping without sight: Four preliminary studies of spatial learning. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 18, 289-305.


This paper illustrates the application of cognitive mapping to people with visual impairments and blindness. It gives perspectives on past research, outlines ongoing  research, highlights some of the methodological and validity issues arising from this research, and discusses the movement of theory into practice. The findings of three small preliminary studies have been reported, as part of continuing research into the cognitive mapping abilities of blind or visually impaired people. These studies have highlighted the need to use multiple, mutually supportive tests to assess cognitive map knowledge. In light of these findings and the need to move theory into practice, a current research project is outlined. This project seeks to use the knowledge gained from the three projects to design and implement an auditory hyper map system to aid wayfinding and the spatial learning of an area. Finally an agenda for applied research is presented.