Topologically characterized movement patterns: A cognitive assessment

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In this paper, we discuss the role of topology as a predictor for the conceptualization of dynamically changing spatial configurations (referred to as movement patterns). We define meaningful units of movement patterns as paths through a topologically defined conceptual neighborhood graph. Topology plays a central role in formal approaches to human cognition and in predicting cognitive similarity ratings- although primarily for static spatial configurations. Formal specifications of the role of topology for characterizing movement patterns do exist, yet there is paucity of behavioral validation. To bridge this gap, we conducted an experiment based on the grouping paradigm to assess factors that underlie conceptualizations of movement patterns. The experiment was designed such that paths through the conceptual neighborhood graph were distinguished by topologically differentiated ending relations. We believe topology can make an important contribution in explaining movement conceptualizations. One recently formulated topology-based contribution is the endpoint hypothesis, asserting that a cognitive focus is placed on event ending relations. We discuss the results of our experiment in relation to previous experiments targeted toward a framework for modeling the cognitive conceptualization of dynamically changing spatial relations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-261
Number of pages29
JournalSpatial Cognition and Computation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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