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Behav. Sci. 2014, 4(3), 181-201; doi:10.3390/bs4030181

Walk, Look, Remember: The Influence of the Gallery’s Spatial Layout on Human Memory for an Art Exhibition

Department of Architecture and the Built Environment, Northumbria University, NE1 8ST Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
Received: 31 March 2014 / Revised: 19 June 2014 / Accepted: 23 June 2014 / Published: 8 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial Cognition and Behaviour)
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Abstract

The spatial organisation of museums and its influence on the visitor experience has been the subject of numerous studies. Previous research, despite reporting some actual behavioural correlates, rarely had the possibility to investigate the cognitive processes of the art viewers. In the museum context, where spatial layout is one of the most powerful curatorial tools available, attention and memory can be measured as a means of establishing whether or not the gallery fulfils its function as a space for contemplating art. In this exploratory experiment, 32 participants split into two groups explored an experimental, non-public exhibition and completed two unanticipated memory tests afterwards. The results show that some spatial characteristics of an exhibition can inhibit the recall of pictures and shift the focus to perceptual salience of the artworks. View Full-Text
Keywords: memory; visual attention; spatial cognition; spatial layout; space syntax; isovist; museum memory; visual attention; spatial cognition; spatial layout; space syntax; isovist; museum
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Krukar, J. Walk, Look, Remember: The Influence of the Gallery’s Spatial Layout on Human Memory for an Art Exhibition. Behav. Sci. 2014, 4, 181-201.

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