Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Herbert Colle (Committee Member), Robert Gilkey (Committee Member), Valerie Shalin (Advisor)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Using data collected from a prior study that established the benefit of spatialized audio on team navigation, the current paper examines the underlying mechanisms by which that benefit arose. With linguistic measures extracted from trial transcripts, I study emergent patterns of conversation for four dyads as they attempt to rendezvous in an immersive virtual environment. Spatialized audio is compared to landmarks, traditionally viewed as integral to navigation tasks, on the basis of coordination and strategy. Analyses reveal that spatialized audio creates a decreased need to speak overall. Paired with the performance advantage, this creates a more linguistically efficient task structure. Spatialized audio may change the perspective of participants, giving them a more comprehensive view of their environment. Furthermore, the absence of changes in coordination measures due to landmark manipulation introduces the idea that landmarks are a purely cognitive construct, not necessarily defined in real-time (as opposed to planned or recalled) navigation tasks.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded