The recent Spatial Cognition 2016 conference was held in Philadelphia, PA from August 2–5, 2016. Conference organizers Mary Hegarty (UCSB Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Associate Director of the Center for Spatial Studies), Christoph Hölscher (ETH Zurich Professor of Cognitive Science), Dan Montello (UCSB Professor of Geography), and Nora S. Newcombe (Temple University Professor of Psychology and PI of SILC) brought together scholars in spatial cognition research from a variety of fields, including psychology, computer science, geography, linguistics, and anthropology. Conference sessions included paper presentations on development and education, individual differences, navigation, and language and space.
A paper by Werner Kuhn, (Director of the Center for Spatial Studies) on “Conceptualizing Space” was the impetus for a panel discussion in which he participated along with Nora Newcombe, Dan Montello, and Anjan Chatterjee (University of Pennsylvania Professor and Chair of Neurology), on how the core concepts of spatial information for computation could be formulated in terms of human spatial concepts. Margaret Tarampi, postdoctoral researcher with the Center, presented a poster on comparing performance using paper-and-pencil versus computer-based assessments of spatial ability. Also from UCSB, Psychological and Brain Sciences Ph.D. candidate Alex Boone presented a paper on individual differences in navigation using the Dual Solution Paradigm, as well as a poster on the effect of verbal instructions in visually communicating uncertainty in hurricane forecasts. UCSB Assistant Professor of Geography Liz Chrastil participated in a panel discussion on using virtual reality in study navigation and presented a paper on the neural mechanisms of human path integration.