Navigational Aids and Their Influence on Spatial Memory
Work in Tufts’ spatial cognition lab has shown that navigational aids impair development of spatial memory. Current work explores approaches to providing feedback during navigation that might facilitate rather than impede spatial memory.
Continuous Navigation Measures to Inform Spatial Thinking
People often feel uncertain when navigating through a new environment. Research on navigation frequently assesses spatial decisions after they have been made (e.g., which way someone turned). However, behavior prior to making a spatial decision can provide insights into the spatial decision process.
Do people engage in metacognitive processing while they learn a new environment? Metacognitive processing can involve monitoring learning (Will I remember this route?) and/or controlling study (gathering new information or getting information in a different format) for successful learning. Our work applies metacognition theory to environment learning.
Spatial Thinking in STEM Education
Spatial thinking can be used to think about a range of scientific concepts. Good spatial thinking skills have been linked to success in STEM courses and careers. Tufts Spatial Cognition Lab in collaboration with Think3d! has developed and assessed a spatial thinking training program based in origami and pop-up paper engineering.