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How do in-car navigation aids impair expert navigators’ spatial learning ability?


Ying, Qi; Dong, Weihua; Fabrikant, Sara I (2024). How do in-car navigation aids impair expert navigators’ spatial learning ability? Annals of the American Association of Geographers:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Reliance on digital navigation aids has already shown negative impacts on navigators’ innate spatial abilities. How this happens is still an open research question. We report on an empirical study with twenty-four experienced (male) taxi drivers to evaluate the long-term impacts of in-car navigation system use on the spatial learning ability of these navigation experts. Specifically, we measured cognitive load by means of electroencephalography (EEG) coupled with eye tracking to assess their visuospatial attention allocation during a video-based route-following task while driving through an unknown urban environment. We found that long-term reliance on in-car navigation aids did not affect participants’ visual attention allocation during spatial learning but rather limited their ability to encode viewed geographic information into memory, which, in turn, led to greater cognitive load, especially along route segments between intersections. Participants with greater dependence on in-car navigation aids performed worse on the spatial knowledge tests. Our combined behavioral and neuropsychological findings provide evidence for the impairment of expert navigators’ spatial learning ability when exposed to long-term use of digital in-car navigation aids.

Abstract

Reliance on digital navigation aids has already shown negative impacts on navigators’ innate spatial abilities. How this happens is still an open research question. We report on an empirical study with twenty-four experienced (male) taxi drivers to evaluate the long-term impacts of in-car navigation system use on the spatial learning ability of these navigation experts. Specifically, we measured cognitive load by means of electroencephalography (EEG) coupled with eye tracking to assess their visuospatial attention allocation during a video-based route-following task while driving through an unknown urban environment. We found that long-term reliance on in-car navigation aids did not affect participants’ visual attention allocation during spatial learning but rather limited their ability to encode viewed geographic information into memory, which, in turn, led to greater cognitive load, especially along route segments between intersections. Participants with greater dependence on in-car navigation aids performed worse on the spatial knowledge tests. Our combined behavioral and neuropsychological findings provide evidence for the impairment of expert navigators’ spatial learning ability when exposed to long-term use of digital in-car navigation aids.

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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:1 July 2024
Deposited On:03 Jul 2024 13:38
Last Modified:03 Jul 2024 13:48
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:2469-4452
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2024.2356858
Project Information:
  • : FunderNational Natural Science Foundation of China
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderSara Irina Fabrikant
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderFP7
  • : Grant ID200264
  • : Project TitleNEFERN - North-Eastern France Researchers Night 2007
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)