Spatial thinking allows us to encode and transform information about objects and their location, and thus to find our way in the world and perform technical activities such as tool making, providing the foundation for a wide range of activities, such as the design of buildings or the solution of mathematics problems. The overarching goal of the RISC Lab is to understand spatial learning and cognition and how they can be fostered by effective technology and education.

Dr. Thomas Shipley concentrates on spatial thinking in the geosciences.

Dr. Nora Newcombe studies navigation, spatial memory and spatial thinking in mathematics and physics.

See also the Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC) which was funded by the National Science Foundation from 2006-2018 and currently located at Northwestern University.

Featured Content

Bateman, K.M., Wilson, C.G., Williams, R.T., Tipoff, B., & Shipley, T.F. (2022). Explicit Instruction of Scientific Uncertainty in an Undergraduate Geoscience Field-Based Course. Science and Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11191-022-00345-z

Karjack, S., Brudzinski, M.R., & Shipley, T.F. (2022). Assessment of the general public’s understanding of rapidly produced earthquake information products ShakeMap and PAGER. Seismology Research Letters, 93(5): 2891-2905. https://doi.org/10.1785/0220210318

Brucato, M., Nazareth, A. & Newcombe, N.S. (In press). Longitudinal development of cognitive mapping  from childhood to adolescence. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2022.105412  

Horwath, E.A., Benear, S.L., Cowan, E., Camacho, M.C., Ngo, C.T., Newcombe, N.S., Olson, I.R., Perlman, S.B. & Murty, V.P. (in press). Children show adult-like hippocampal pattern similarity for familiar but not novel events. Brain Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2022.147991

Miller-Cotto-D., Booth, J. & Newcombe, N.S. (2022). Sketching and verbal self-explanation: Do they help middle school children solve science problems? Applied Cognitive Psychology. June. https://doi.org/10.1002/acp.3980

Wilson, C.G., Shipley, T.F., & Davatzes, A.K. (2020). Evidence of vulnerability to decision bias in expert field scientists. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 34(5): 1217-1223. https://doi.org/10.1002/acp.3677

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