Mental spatial knowledge processing often uses spatio-analogical or quasipictorial representation structures such as spatial mental models or mental images. The cognitive architecture Casimir is designed to provide a framework for computationally modeling human spatial knowledge processing relying on these kinds of representation formats. In this article, we present an overview of Casimir and its components. We briefly describe the long-term memory component and the interaction with external diagrammatic representations. Particular emphasis is placed on Casimir’s working memory and control mechanisms. Regarding (...) working memory, we describe the conceptual foundations and the processing mechanisms employed in mental spatial reasoning. With respect to control, we explain how it is realized as a distributed, emergent facility within Casimir. (shrink)
This article presents research into human mental spatial reasoning with orientation knowledge. In particular, we look at reasoning problems about cardinal directions that possess multiple valid solutions , at human preferences for some of these solutions, and at representational and procedural factors that lead to such preferences. The article presents, first, a discussion of existing, related conceptual and computational approaches; second, results of empirical research into the solution preferences that human reasoners actually have; and, third, a novel computational model that (...) relies on a parsimonious and flexible spatio-analogical knowledge representation structure to robustly reproduce the behavior observed with human reasoners. (shrink)
People often solve spatially presented cognitive problems more easily than their nonspatial counterparts. We explain this phenomenon by characterizing space as an inter-modality that provides common structure to different specific perceptual modalities. The usefulness of spatial structure for knowledge processing on different levels of granularity and for interaction between internal and external processes is described. Map representations are discussed as examples in which the usefulness of spatially organized symbols is particularly evident. External representations and processes can enhance internal representations and (...) processes effectively when the same structures and principles can be implicitly assumed. (shrink)
Although the bicoded map constitutes an interesting candidate representation, proposing it as the predominant representation for three-dimensional space is too restrictive. We present and argue for scalable spatial representation structures as a more comprehensive alternative account that includes the bicoded map as a special case.