Distance and Distraction Effects in the Apprehension of Spatial Relations. Logan, G., D. & Compton, B., J. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance Jackendoff & Landau cognitive neuroscience Hellige & Michimata, 22(1):159-172, Garnham Herskovits Levelt Talmy Kosslyn Sergent Marr & Nishihara Ullman Franklin & Tversky Johnson-Laird Logan Pick & Acredolo, 1996.
Distance and Distraction Effects in the Apprehension of Spatial Relations [pdf]Paper  abstract   bibtex   
Theories of the apprehension of spatial relations differ in the predictions they make about the effects of distance between the arguments of spatial relations and the effects of distracting stimuli presented along with the arguments. One theory predicts no effect of distance, another predicts a monotonic increase in reaction time (RT) with distance, and a third predicts a monotonic decrease. Most theories predict slower RTs but reasonable accuracy when dis-tractors are present, but 1 theory predicts chance-level accuracy. These predictions were tested in 3 sentence-picture comparison experiments, in which subjects searched for targets exemplifying the relations above and below. Distance had no effect when no distractors were present. Distractors slowed RT but did not reduce accuracy to chance levels. These results suggest modifications to many of the theories of apprehension. The purpose of this article is to distinguish between theories of the process of apprehen-sion, focusing on their ability to account for the effects of distance between the arguments of the relation and the effects of distractors presented along with the arguments. Current theories of apprehension predict different effects of these variables. The experiments were variants of the sentence-picture comparison procedure of the 1970s (e.g., Clark, Carpenter, & Just, 1973), in which subjects were given sentences describing the spatial relation between two letters (e.g., "B ABOVE D"), followed by pictures that contained an array of letters that did or did not exemplify the relation. Half of the time, sentences and pictures corresponded; half of the time, they did not. The main independent variables were distance and distraction. Distance was varied in four equally spaced steps. To separate absolute distance from relative distance, subjects were tested with two different step sizes,
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 title = {Distance and Distraction Effects in the Apprehension of Spatial Relations},
 type = {article},
 year = {1996},
 pages = {159-172},
 volume = {22},
 publisher = {Garnham Herskovits Levelt Talmy Kosslyn Sergent Marr & Nishihara Ullman Franklin & Tversky Johnson-Laird Logan Pick & Acredolo},
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 abstract = {Theories of the apprehension of spatial relations differ in the predictions they make about the effects of distance between the arguments of spatial relations and the effects of distracting stimuli presented along with the arguments. One theory predicts no effect of distance, another predicts a monotonic increase in reaction time (RT) with distance, and a third predicts a monotonic decrease. Most theories predict slower RTs but reasonable accuracy when dis-tractors are present, but 1 theory predicts chance-level accuracy. These predictions were tested in 3 sentence-picture comparison experiments, in which subjects searched for targets exemplifying the relations above and below. Distance had no effect when no distractors were present. Distractors slowed RT but did not reduce accuracy to chance levels. These results suggest modifications to many of the theories of apprehension. The purpose of this article is to distinguish between theories of the process of apprehen-sion, focusing on their ability to account for the effects of distance between the arguments of the relation and the effects of distractors presented along with the arguments. Current theories of apprehension predict different effects of these variables. The experiments were variants of the sentence-picture comparison procedure of the 1970s (e.g., Clark, Carpenter, & Just, 1973), in which subjects were given sentences describing the spatial relation between two letters (e.g., "B ABOVE D"), followed by pictures that contained an array of letters that did or did not exemplify the relation. Half of the time, sentences and pictures corresponded; half of the time, they did not. The main independent variables were distance and distraction. Distance was varied in four equally spaced steps. To separate absolute distance from relative distance, subjects were tested with two different step sizes,},
 bibtype = {article},
 author = {Logan, Gordon D and Compton, Brian J},
 journal = {Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance Jackendoff & Landau cognitive neuroscience Hellige & Michimata},
 number = {1}
}
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