Please note that the talk is on a different day (Thursday) and venue (AS6/02-12) than the usual weekly talk. There will be no talk on 19 Oct.
Title: Human Spatial Cognition: Research Themes in this Emerging Field
Date/Time: 21 Oct 2010 (Thursday), 4pm
Stimulated by theoretical and empirical contributions from a number of disciplines (e.g, ethology, physiology, behavioral geography, and psychology), the field of human spatial cognition is blossoming. It is becoming increasingly evident that spatial cognition, especially that dealing with navigation and environmental learning, often involves specialized mechanisms distinct from language processing, for humans have much in common with other species. In my talk, I will review some of the research themes in this emerging field, including the frames of reference used in encoding spatial memories, spatial updating, individual differences in spatial ability, and the neuroscience of spatial cognition.
About the speaker:
Jack Loomis has been on the Psychology faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara since 1974. His primary research areas are perception and spatial cognition. His research in perception has been unusually broad, covering the spatial senses of vision, hearing, and touch. Within visual perception, he has done research on a variety of topics, including visual space perception and visual control of action. Much of his work has made use of virtual reality, a tool that greatly expands the possibilities for experimental research. For over 20 years, he was director of a project on navigation without sight, a project that encompassed both basic research on non-visual spatial cognition and development of a navigation system for blind people.