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On the assessment of landmark salience for human navigation


Caduff, David; Timpf, Sabine (2008). On the assessment of landmark salience for human navigation. Cognitive Processing, 9(4):249-267.

Abstract

In this paper, we propose a conceptual framework for assessing the salience of landmarks for navigation. Landmark salience is derived as a result of the observer’s point of view, both physical and cognitive, the surrounding environment, and the objects contained therein. This is in contrast to the currently held view that salience is an inherent property of some spatial feature. Salience, in our approach, is expressed as a three-valued Saliency Vector. The components that determine this vector are Perceptual Salience, which defines the exogenous (or passive) potential of an object or region for acquisition of visual attention, Cognitive Salience, which is an endogenous (or active) mode of orienting attention, triggered by informative cues providing advance information about the target location, and Contextual Salience, which is tightly coupled to modality and task to be performed. This separation between voluntary and involuntary direction of visual attention in dependence of the context allows defining a framework that accounts for the interaction between observer, environment, and landmark. We identify the low-level factors that contribute to each type of salience and suggest a probabilistic approach for their integration. Finally, we discuss the implications, consider restrictions, and explore the scope of the framework.

In this paper, we propose a conceptual framework for assessing the salience of landmarks for navigation. Landmark salience is derived as a result of the observer’s point of view, both physical and cognitive, the surrounding environment, and the objects contained therein. This is in contrast to the currently held view that salience is an inherent property of some spatial feature. Salience, in our approach, is expressed as a three-valued Saliency Vector. The components that determine this vector are Perceptual Salience, which defines the exogenous (or passive) potential of an object or region for acquisition of visual attention, Cognitive Salience, which is an endogenous (or active) mode of orienting attention, triggered by informative cues providing advance information about the target location, and Contextual Salience, which is tightly coupled to modality and task to be performed. This separation between voluntary and involuntary direction of visual attention in dependence of the context allows defining a framework that accounts for the interaction between observer, environment, and landmark. We identify the low-level factors that contribute to each type of salience and suggest a probabilistic approach for their integration. Finally, we discuss the implications, consider restrictions, and explore the scope of the framework.

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46 citations in Web of Science®
59 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:22 Mar 2013 09:23
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:42
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1612-4782
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10339-007-0199-2
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-76921

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