Modeling the cognitive representation of basic three-dimensional spatial relations in visual short-term memory
For the prospective design of human-machine interfaces in an engineering design process, basic principles and parameters of human cognitive performance need to be known. This paper describes the results of a study that assesses parameters for the accuracy of the mental representation of basic three-dimensional spatial relations in visual short-term memory. In a laboratory experiment, 13 subjects reproduced from memory the position of a sphere relative to a second landmark. The stimuli were presented on a stereoscopic display. The mental representation of spatial relations is noisy and therefore is determined by probability density functions. The experimental results are compared with Monte Carlo simulations of stochastic models of the mental representation using hypothesized probability density functions that represent different noise models. The reported values for the parameters have important implications for the design of stereoscopic three-dimensional visualization s in human- computer interaction.