This project is designed to 1) extend recent research that demonstrates how the physical organization of the learner’s environment affects his or her ability to internally represent aspects of that environment and 2) investigate ways in which the physical organization of information presented in the classroom may help to improve working memory and cognitive control functions. In collaboration with Dr. Gabriel Radvansky at the University of Notre Dame, we conducted a series of studies designed to examine whether event structure can influence the effectiveness of cognitive control (Reimer, Radvansky, Lorsbach, & Armendarez, 2015). Using the Event Horizon Model (Radvansky, 2012; Radvansky & Zacks, 2014) and a representation-based theory of cognitive control (e.g., Braver, 2012), we found that cognitive control can be influenced by the surrounding environmental structure. Since that study, we have extended this line of research to investigate related issues, such as:
- Whether special location affects goal representation and maintenance
- Whether differences in modes of cognitive control affect college students’ memory for narrative text
- How event structure influences modes of cognitive control within a virtual environment
Future directions in this project include studies designed to examine how navigating through rooms affects cognitive control and how the location of information in a classroom setting affects aspects of cognitive control. Please let us know if you are interested in learning more about this project. If you would like to contribute to this project as a collaborator please email us; if you would like to work on the project as a student research assistant, please fill out our Research Assistant Form.