Cognitive maps, cognitive collages, and spatial mental models

  • Barbara Tversky
Spatial Cognition
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 716)


Although cognitive map is a popular metaphor for people's mental representations of environments, as it is typically conceived, it is often too restrictive. Two other metaphors for mental representations are proposed and supported. Cognitive collages are consistent with research demonstrating systematic errors in memory and judgment of environmental knowledge. Yet, for some simple or well-known environments, people seem to have coherent representations of the coarse spatial relations among elements. These spatial mental models allow inference and perspectivetaking but may not allow accurate metric judgments.


Mental Representation Spatial Relation Spatial Cognition Environmental Knowledge Hierarchical Representation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Tversky
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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