In the Spatial Thinking lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara, we are interested in spatial thinking very generally, from how people mentally represent the locations of objects in space and the location of the self in the environment to how people use spatial representations to think about non-spatial entities. We use a variety of methods in our research, including analysis of individual differences, eye tracking, fMRI and use of virtual environment technology as well as more traditional experimental methods in cognitive psychology.

Selected Publications

Hegarty, M. . (2011). The cognitive science of visual-spatial displays: Implications for design. Topics in cognitive science, 3, 446–474.
Wolbers, T. , & Hegarty, M. . (2010). What determines our navigational abilities?. Trends in cognitive sciences, 14, 138–146.
Hegarty, M. . (2010). Components of spatial intelligence. Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 52, 265–297.
Hegarty, M. , Montello, D. R. , Richardson, A. E. , Ishikawa, T. , & Lovelace, K. . (2006). Spatial abilities at different scales: Individual differences in aptitude-test performance and spatial-layout learning. Intelligence, 34, 151–176.
Hegarty, M. . (2004). Mechanical reasoning by mental simulation. Trends in cognitive sciences, 8, 280–285.
Hegarty, M. , Richardson, A. E. , Montello, D. R. , Lovelace, K. , & Subbiah, I. . (2002). Development of a self-report measure of environmental spatial ability. Intelligence, 30, 425–447.
Hegarty, M. , & Just, M. A. . (1993). Constructing mental models of machines from text and diagrams. Journal of memory and language, 32, 717–742.
Hegarty, M. . (1992). Mental animation: inferring motion from static displays of mechanical systems. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 18, 1084.