Psychology Colloquium Speaker David Waller Discusses 'Spatial Knowledge'
Posted: October 22, 2007
David Waller, an assistant professor of psychology at Miami University, Oxford, will lead a psychology colloquium at Denison on "Transient and Enduring Spatial Knowledge" at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1, in Higley Hall Auditorium (100 Ridge Road). The event is free and open to the public.
Waller's research interests aim to understand how people perceive and remember spatial information about large-scale environments. For instance, when a person learns about a new town, what information is encoded in memory? He also studies how spatial perceptions and memories are transformed by mental processes in the service of important behaviors such as navigation and how people differ in their ability to perform such transformations.
Waller, who studied with Jack Loomis at the University of California at Santa Barbara, one of the top researchers in the area, earned his doctorate at the University of Washington. He has been published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, the Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, and Memory & Cognition. He uses computer-simulated or "virtual" environments for much of his current research since it offers unprecedented experimental control over spatial stimuli. "My use of virtual environments for basic research in spatial cognition is matched by an ongoing interest in the human factor issues associated with virtual environment applications," says Waller.
During his presentation, Waller will present experiments suggesting that, in many circumstances, people do not use abstract "cognitive maps" of their environment, but rather rely on specific embodied (or imagined) experiences to create relatively piecemeal and local "representations" of their environment.
- DU -
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- A psychology colloquium with David Waller, Miami University, speaking on "Transient and Enduring Spatial Knowledge"; 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 1, Higley Hall Auditorium (100 Ridge Road). Free and open to the public. Call (740) 587-6338 to confirm information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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