Keeping Behavior in Context: A Dynamic Systems Account of a Transition in Spatial Recall Biases

Anne R. Schutte, Vanessa R. Simmering, Margaret R. Ortmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


In location memory tasks, young children show biases toward reference axes, whereas older children show biases away from axes. As predicted by a dynamic systems model, this transition is gradual and varies across target location (Schutte & Spencer, 2009). Here we tested whether task context would influence the transition by testing children in a sandbox memory task that varied in several ways from Schutte and Spencer's task, with the key difference being the salience of boundaries. In this task context, the transition was delayed but occurred gradually. These results provide further evidence for the context-dependent nature of behavior over development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-342
Number of pages30
JournalSpatial Cognition and Computation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2011



  • cognitive development
  • dynamic systems
  • geometric bias
  • memory
  • spatial recall

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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