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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Age
Title The cultural transmission of spatial cognition: Evidence from a large-scale study
Volume 30
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 212-217
URL https://mindmodeling.org/cogsci2014/papers/047/paper047.pdf
We present the results of two studies of the use of spatial
reference frames in speakers of 11 linguistic varieties. A
series of mixed-models linear regression analyses of the
responses to a referential communication task shows the
significant factors in predicting frame use to be the
participants’ first and second-language, their literacy, the
local topography and population density. This suggests that
language can play an irreducible role in the transmission of
practices of spatial reference and that such practices may be
diffused through language contact. However, in a recall
memory experiment, only speakers of varieties with an
egocentric linguistic bias preferred egocentric responses. Both
speakers of languages with a geocentric bias and speakers of
varieties without a clear bias preferred geocentric responses.
This unexpected finding is in line with a hypothetical mild
innate pan-simian bias for geocentric cognition, which can be
superseded by a learned egocentric bias

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