Scandinavian Journal of Psychology vol:44 issue:2 pages:79-86
The role of locomotion in the acquisition and transfer of spatial knowledge was investigated in 144 five-, seven- and eleven-year-old children. Two experiments were conducted in the Kiel locomotor maze. In the first experiment, one group of children explored the spatial layout by walking through the maze, while another learned the maze by surveying the layout. In the second experiment, children were exposed to one of two orientation tests in the maze, one of which could be solved using "landmark orientation", the other only using a "relational place orientation". Children sitting by the side of the experimental chamber surveying the maze needed fewer trials to learn the spatial layout than children exploring the environment in the locomotion condition, but in the orientation test demanding the "relational place orientation" children who had explored the maze in the locomotion condition outperformed the children in the non-locomotion condition. Results are discussed in the context of cognitive mapping models.