Steven Weisberg directs the Spatial Cognition and Navigational Neuroscience Lab in the Department of Psychology. He uses tools from cognitive psychology and neuroscience, including virtual reality and functional magnetic resonance imaging, to better understand how human spatial navigation works. Steven's research focuses on individual differences in navigation behavior, including why some people are poor navigators, how navigation breaks down during aging and in Alzheimer's disease, and the functional and structural neural correlates of navigation behavior. His work investigates ways that spatial behavior can be supported and improved by providing navigational tools (like maps, compasses, or signs), or training.
Areas of Expertise (8)
Allocation of Space-Based Attention is Guided by Efficient Comprehension of Spatial DirectionJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Adam J. Barnas, et. al
Spatial navigation is supported by visual cues (e.g., scenes, schemas like arrows, and words) that must be comprehended quickly to facilitate effective transit. People comprehend spatial directions faster from schemas and words than scenes. We hypothesize that this occurs because schemas and words efficiently engage space-based attention, allowing for less costly computations.
Getting LOST: A conceptual framework for supporting and enhancing spatial navigation in agingWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science
Steven M. Weisberg, et. al
Spatial navigation is more difficult and effortful for older than younger individuals, a shift which occurs for a variety of neurological, physical, and cognitive reasons associated with aging. Despite a large body of evidence documenting age-related deficits in spatial navigation, comparatively less research addresses how to facilitate more effective navigation behavior for older adults.
Using a picture (or a thousand words) for supporting spatial knowledge of a complex virtual environmentCognitive Research: Principles and Implications
Allison J. Jaeger, et. al
External representations powerfully support and augment complex human behavior. When navigating, people often consult external representations to help them find the way to go, but do maps or verbal instructions improve spatial knowledge or support effective wayfinding? Here, we examine spatial knowledge with and without external representations in two studies where participants learn a complex virtual environment.
Evaluating the effects of a programming error on a virtual environment measure of spatial navigation behaviorJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Steven M. Weisberg, et. al
Relying on shared tasks and stimuli to conduct research can enhance the replicability of findings and allow a community of researchers to collect large data sets across multiple experiments. This approach is particularly relevant for experiments in spatial navigation, which often require the development of unfamiliar large-scale virtual environments to test participants.