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Nora S. Newcombe051508_Nora_Newcome_003-200x300
318 Weiss Hall
Telephone: 215-204-6944

Nora S. Newcombe, Ph.D, is a Professor of Psychology at Temple University. Her research centers on cognition, development, spatial thinking, memory, and STEM education. Honors include the William James Fellow Award from APS and the George Miller Award and the G. Stanley Hall Awards from APA, the Award for Distinguished Service to Psychological Science, also from APA, and the Women in Cognitive Science Mentor Award. She is a fellow of four divisions of the American Psychological Association (General, Experimental, Developmental, and Psychology of Women), of the American Psychological Society, of the Cognitive Science Society, and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin.

041408_Thomas_Shipley_018-200x300Thomas F. Shipley
317 Weiss Hall
Telephone: 215-204-7890

Thomas F. Shipley’s research focuses on spatial cognition and learning. He applies formal methods from previous research to understand the perceptual and cognitive processes subserving navigation and visualization. His recent work aims to support undergraduate geology education with a longer term goal of understanding the cognitive processes that are critical for spatial reasoning and thus support STEM education in general for both K-12 and undergraduate students.

Graduate Students

Rachel Myerrachelmyer

Rachel is currently a graduate student in Temple University’s Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department at Temple University. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Physics, with an Applied Mathematics minor, from Franklin & Marshall College in 2014. She currently works as a Graduate Research Assistant with Dr. Thomas Shipley. She aids in research into geoscience education by developing stimuli, running experiments, and analyzing data.

C. Rebekah Banerjee

Rebekah is a graduate student in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences department working with Dr. Thomas Shipley. She received her B.S. in Psychology and Neuroscience from the University of Maryland and her M.A. in Cognitive Science from the University of Delaware. She is interested in the role of complex causal cognition and spatial thinking in learning in the geosciences and other STEM fields.

Susan Benear                                                         

Susan is a graduate student in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences department working with Drs. Nora Newcombe and Ingrid Olson. Her work focuses on the development of episodic memory, particularly in early childhood. She is interested in the relationship between behavioral memory measures and structural connectivity in the brain.

Maria Brucato

Maria is a graduate student in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences department working with Drs. Nora Newcombe and Jason Chein. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Montclair State University in 2017. She is interested in the role of working memory and strategy use during relational reasoning in spatial problem-solving. In particular, she is interested in how individual differences in strategy or performance may be shaped over development.


Merve Tansan

Merve is a graduate student in Temple University’s Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department, working with Dr. Nora Newcombe. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Business from Koç University, Istanbul in 2018. As an undergraduate, she studied the relationship among individuals’ spatial language, gesture production, and cognitive abilities across various spatial tasks. Her current research interests include spatial thinking and role of spatial thinking in STEM fields.

Kim Nguyen

Kim is a graduate student in the Cognition and Neuroscience department and is mentored by Dr. Nora Newcombe and Dr. Ingrid Olson. She received her B.S. in Neurobiology at the University of Texas at Austin in 2018. She is interested in the development and decline of episodic and spatial memory and using fMRI methods to link function with behavior.

Jon Ham

Jon Ham is a graduate student in the Cognition and Neuroscience department, mentored by Dr. Thomas Shipley. He received his BS in Cognitive Science from George Fox University in 2019. He is interested in how spatial processes are mediated differently by appearances, information, and imagination. He is currently working as a research assistant on projects related to geoscience and the use of novel geological technologies.


Cristina Wilson 
315 Weiss Hall
Telephone: 215-204-4027

Cristina G. Wilson, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Temple University and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Engineering Research and Collaboration Hub. Her research focuses on decisions requiring cognitive flexibility, i.e., the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. In our ever-changing environment, the ability to flexibly shift/update choice strategy is essential. In past work, Cristina has examined how individual constraints (personality traits or biological differences) and situational constraints (task demands) influence cognitive flexibility and lead to suboptimal decision making. At present, Cristina is part of an interdisciplinary research group investigating  decision making and cognitive flexibility in the domains of geoscience and engineering.

Kathryn (Katie) Bateman 
333 Weiss Hall
Telephone: 215-204-4028                                                                      

Kathryn (Katie) Bateman is post-doctoral fellow working with Dr. Shipley on projects involving geoscience, cognitive science, and engineering focused on the future of geoscience field work. She is particularly interested in how geoscientists make sense of their environments in the field and the way in which the geoscientists use tools like drones to do so. Katie holds a B.S. in Marine Science (Rider University), an M.Ed. in Elementary Education (Holy Family University), and a Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction – Science Education from Penn State. Her previous work has focused on school culture and educational policies, geoscience education in the middle school, and teacher learning.


picture of rebecca adlerRebecca Adler
Laboratory Coordinator
Telephone: 215-204-4030

Rebecca received her B.A. in psychology and cognitive science from Northwestern University. Her research interests include mathematical cognition, cognitive development, and the application of psychology and cognitive science research into the classroom.

Picture of Elisabeth Boyce-Jacino

Elisabeth Boyce-Jacino
Laboratory Coordinator
Telephone: 215-204-7890

Elisabeth received a bachelors in Cognitive Science and Music from Vassar College. Her research interests include music therapy, music cognition, and clinical psychology.