Spatial Cognition Research Lab


Villanova University



Susan Naylor-Emlen


Spatial Cognition Lab

Lab members





Welcome to the Spatial Cognition Research Lab (SCRL)

Conducting research in areas of human cognition


Current projects

Developing an interactive model of temporal and spatial information in map memory.

     Upon entering a room for the first time, you might scan the room and its contents with your eyes as a way of acquainting yourself with the environment.  In doing so, you will most likely form some kind of mental representation of the objects in the room.  The representation may be primarily spatially driven - that is, the objects and their relative placement may be spatially defined.  Alternatively, the representation may be supported by the temporal order in which the room and its contents were scanned.   A third, and more likely, possibility is that both spatial and temporal order information are represented.  The two information sources may operate conjointly, or may be weighted by saliency in order to most accurately or efficiently represent the room and its contents.  In the spatial cognition lab, we evaluate the differential weighting of temporal and spatial information in environmental memory. 

Gender differences in mental rotation strategies

     Previous research shows performance differences between males and females on spatial tasks.  Using an interference task paradigm, we are examining the use of piecemeal and holistic processing strategies when mentally rotating depictions of 3-D cube figures.


Other interests

Goal-driven learning in spatial environments

Spatial language and perspective taking




Contact information:

                         Psychology Department

                                          800 Lancaster Avenue

                                          Villanova University

                                          Villanova, PA 19085-1699

                                          Phone: 610-519-8895

                                          Fax: 610-519-4269