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Response to [The Infocockpit: …] by Tan et al.


This paper discusses how location and place can help computer users better memorize information. ‘Location’ refers to where in the display space the information is learned. And ‘place’ means the environment in which the information is learned. To answer this question, researchers implemented a prototype called ‘Infocockpit’ where the information is distributed onto multiple display, coupled with visual and audio surroundings. In their user study, both groups of participants were asked to learn three lists of word pairs, provided the same set of word cues. Later they returned and were asked to recall the words learned. The difference is that one group performed the task on standard desktop computer while the other group used the Infocockpit – each list was shown on a different monitor, coupled with relevant background images and ambient sound. Results showed that the group using the Infocockpit, on average, recalled 56% more word pairs than the other, proving the effectiveness of location and place in helping human memory.


* “Psychology research tells us people rmember spatially distributed information based on its location relative to their body, as well as the environment in which the information was learned.”

* Location refers to the positions of objects in the space around us. Place refers to the environment we inhabit at the time of encoding.

* [Need further study] The presence of vestibular, proprioceptive, and somesthetic cues strongly affects spatial memory.


* “… the paired-associate paradigm is well understood in memory research”. This could be a benchmark for testing effectiveness.

* Further reading: Lamming’s “Forget-me-not”, Smith’s two papers [14, 15].


About Xiang 'Anthony' Chen

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