Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Herbert A. Colle (Committee Chair), Helen A. Klein (Committee Member), Valerie Shalin (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Current car navigation systems primarily utilize track-up maps with spatial turn arrows, which facilitate turn decision-making but do not facilitate acquisition of spatial knowledge of the region. North-up maps do facilitate acquisition of regional spatial knowledge, however, these displays sometimes have arrows heading in directions misaligned with a driver's forward view, such as when the car is heading south. Drivers have difficulty making turn decisions in these misaligned maps because of stimulus-response reversals (Chan and Chan, 2005; Levine, 1982; Levine, Marchon and Hanley, 1984; Montello, 2010). A new display was designed using a fixed orientation north-up map and added a verbal cue to the traditional turn arrow. People are able to concurrently process verbal and spatial information (Baddeley and Hitch, 1974; Paivio, 1971; Paivio, 2006). The new verbal north-up map was compared with traditional north-up and track-up maps, and a no map aid with auditory turn instructions. Participants drove through a simulated environment and made left or right intention-to-turn responses to the map indicator or the auditory instructions. Following the driving simulation, participants drew a sketch map of the region, which was scored to evaluate configural spatial knowledge. Results showed participants using the verbal north-up map acquired more accurate configural spatial knowledge and showed no evidence of decrement in performance for intention to turn times.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded