Cognitive Studies: Bulletin of the Japanese Cognitive Science Society
Online ISSN : 1881-5995
Print ISSN : 1341-7924
ISSN-L : 1341-7924
Feature: The Models of Spatial Perception and Spatial Cognition
Phenomenal Awareness of the Surrounding Space: An Ecological Perspective
Makoto InagamiRyuzo OhnoRieko Tsujiuchi
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2008 Volume 15 Issue 1 Pages 134-143


This study investigates the extent to which humans are aware of the space surrounding their bodies during daily locomotion. To capture this awareness in its natural state, our experiment adopted an indirect method that uses feelings of oppression and release caused by the surrounding environment. Participants continuously rated their feelings by turning a dial while walking along an outdoor route. The physical environment along this route was described in terms of the visible areas of buildings, trees, ground, and sky. Each area was measured from four different widths of view angles ranging from a limited view in front to a full 360° view. Analysis of the relationship between the ratings and measurements reveals that the feelings have the highest correlation with the 360° measurements. This result supports our hypothesis that humans are aware not only of the limited visual field but also of the entire surrounding space, including the space behind their bodies. Based on this finding, we discuss the traditional concept of spatial perception from an ecological perspective.

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© 2008 Japanese Cognitive Science Society
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