Term of Award

Summer 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Bradley R. Sturz

Committee Member 1

Kent D. Bodily

Committee Member 2

Lawrence Locker, Jr.


Previous research has begun to shed light on the differentiated influence of enclosure size on cue use during reorientation (Sturz, Forloines, & Bodily, 2012). Namely, the question remains of why both feature (i.e., objects or landmarks in the enclosure) and geometric (i.e., shape of the enclosure) cues are differentially affected by enclosure size, and the extent to which local (i.e., wall lengths and corner angles) and global (i.e., principal axis of space) geometric cues are affected by enclosure size. Further, it remains unclear whether training size, testing size, or the relationship between training and testing size influences the use of local geometric cues. In the present study, we trained participants to respond to a goal location in differently-sized trapezoidal enclosures (requiring use of both local and global geometric cues). Our design allowed us to hold training size constant while manipulating testing size, hold testing size constant while manipulating training size, and examine the potential influences of the relationship between training and testing size (increasing in size from training to testing or decreasing in size from training to testing). We then tested participants in differently-sized rectangular and parallelogram-shaped enclosures (rectangular to isolate the use of the principal axis of space and parallelogram to place locations specified by the principal axis and corner angles in conflict). Our results suggest that enclosure size influenced the use of local geometric cues but not global geometric cues but only with respect to the relationship between training and testing environments.

Research Data and Supplementary Material