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Introduction

This entry discusses cognitive maps and the methodologies used to define them. The concept is traced from its emergence in psychology through attempts to operationalize it and use it in disciplines such as planning, behavioural geography, artificial intelligence, and computer science. Assessment tasks include sketch mapping, written and verbal descriptions, orientation and direction estimation, interpoint distance estimation, establishing frames of reference, establishing configurational or layout knowledge using trilateration or non-metric multidimensional scaling, and completion of navigation or wayfinding tasks. Future research directions involve more work on spatial cognition and spatial abilities, research at macrospatial scales, evaluation of potential contribution of virtual environments, and investigation of the neurobiology of place cells.

Definition of Terms and Background

Although cognitive maps have been used for environmental knowing and wayfinding throughout ...

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