Spatial Cognition

Although many people never stop to think about it explicitly, spatial cognition – perceiving, acting in, and representing space -- is fundamental to human life (and indeed to the lives of other living animals).

My research on spatial cognition involves (a) describing ways in which spatial concepts and skills change with age and with various kinds of experiences, (b) identifying dramatic variations among people in spatial cognition or in their success in applying their skills to everyday tasks and to science education (e.g., map-based navigation; geography and geology), (c) understanding when and why differences emerge among individuals and between groups (especially groups defined by gender), and (d) developing and evaluating educational interventions aimed at building or activating spatial skills, or aimed at modifying instruction that can accommodate students with less advanced spatial skills.