Buildings, Memory and Wayfinding
This paper explores the role of generic knowledge in environmental cognition and wayfinding. Whereas most research has focused on the development of specific information about a city or building, people are able to use a general understanding about buildings, or about types of buildings, to find their way. Schema-theory in cognitive psychology and frame-theory in artificial intelligence provide suggestions about how general building-know/edge may be structured. Previous research and several small studies suggest that people's schemas include at two kinds of knowledge: 1) declarative knowledge about elements that are typically in a building or building component, topological relationships and local geometric relationships; and 2) procedural know/edge about what to do in the situation, which may be rule-like or more prescribed "scripts." A preliminary computational approach to environmental cognition is described.