Welcome to the

Spatial Cognition Laboratory


Lab Members & Collaborators  

Sample Projects

Publications & Stimuli

Contact Us

Professor Holly A. Taylor, Ph.D.
Lab Director; Director of the Graduate Program

Holly received her Bachelor's degree in mathematics from Dartmouth College in 1987, her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1992, and has been a faculty member at Tufts since 1994. In addition to her work, she enjoys running road races, hiking, and spending time with her family.  

Tad T. Brunye, Ph.D.
Research Professor, Engineering Psychology

Tad Brunye received his Ph.D. in experimental cognition from Tufts University in May, 2007. He presently is a Senior Cognitive Scientist for the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) in Natick, MA, and a Research Professor here in the Department of Psychology. He holds over 75 publications in spatial memory, attention, working memory, spatial language and discourse comprehension, multimedia learning, educational system design, and spatial visualizations, with a particular focus on embodied cognition and mental simulation. Methods employed in his investigations include eye tracking, electromyography, functional near-infrared spectroscopy, electroencephalography, and traditional behavioral measures. In 2011, Dr. Brunye was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government upon scientists and engineers in the early stages of their career; just as importantly, he got to meet the president! Email: tbruny01 (at) tufts.edu

Julie Cantelon (aka The Shock Queen)
Full-time Research Assistant & Laboratory Manager

Julie graduated from Denison University with a B.A. in psychology and concentration in neuroscience. She previously worked as a research assistant in the laboratory of Professor Seth Chin-Parker before joining us in 2013. Here in our lab, Julie is affectionately known as the Shock Queen given her emerging expertise in transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and threat of shock protocols. Julie's work in the lab focuses on spatial cognition, brain stimulation, affective processing, and decision making. She is also beginning to work on projects related to her specific interests in nutrition, cognition, and behavior. Along with Amanda Holmes, Julie co-manages the daily activities of the lab. Email at jacantelon [at] gmail.com

Ruizhi Dai
Graduate Student

Ruizhi graduated from Chongqing Technology and Business University, China, with a bachelor's degree in applied physics. She worked as a research assistant at Peking University after graduation, investigating the effects of thinking styles on Chinese employee's creativity. Here in our lab, she studies spatial cognition, visual spatial working memory and map learning in both young and older adults. Ruizhi loves traveling, taking photographs and reading in her spare time.

F. Caroline Davis, Ph.D.
Visiting Scholar

Caroline received her PhD from Dartmouth college before working as a postdoc in the Laboratory of NeuroGenetics at Duke University. She then worked as a research fellow at Harvard Medical School (Massachusetts General Hospital), before taking a position as a cognitive scientist at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier RDEC (Natick, MA). Caroline shares her time between the the Army lab and Tufts University, working on a diverse set of projects focused on affective processing, brain imaging, resilience, and cognitive processing under physical and emotional stress. Email at f.caroline.davis [at] gmail.com

Marianna D. Eddy, Ph.D.

Marianna received her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience from Tufts University in 2008, working with Professor Holcomb on projects related to electrophysiological indices of object perception and language comprehension. She also completed a NRSA postdoctoral scholarship at MIT working with Professor Gabrieli on projects related to visual word recognition, typical reading development in children, and impaired reading development in dyslexia. Marianna is presently a Cognitive Scientist at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) in Natick, MA, and an instructor and visiting scholar in the Spatial Cognition Lab. Email at marianna.eddy [at] gmail.com

Aaron Gardony
Graduate Student

Aaron graduated from Tufts University in 2009 with a bachelor's in psychology, completing an honor's thesis in Professor Bharucha's laboratory, examining the effects of several music characteristics on induced affective states. Here in our lab, Aaron is pursuing his doctoral degree in the cognitive science program. In the lab and as part of his dissertation work, he investigates mental and physical rotation, navigation through large-scale virtual environments, and multi-modal navigation guidance systems. Email at agardony [at] gmail.com

Grace Giles
Graduate Student

Grace graduated from Middlebury College with a bachelor's in neuroscience, working in Professor Collaer's laboratory, examining stress-induced impairments in hippocampal-dependent cognitive tasks. Here in our lab, Grace is pursuing her Ph.D. under the supervision of Professor Robin Kanarek. In her doctoral work, she is investigating the acute effects of exercise, fatigue, and nutritional supplementation on a range of processes such as perception, working memory, complex decision making, and navigation. Email at grace.emelia [at] gmail.com

Amanda Holmes
Full-time Research Assistant & Laboratory Manager

Amanda graduated from the University of Rochester with a B. S. in brain in cognitive sciences and a minor in music studies. She previously worked as a research assistant in several laboratories at the University of Rochester, Northeastern University, and Brandeis University. Amanda works on projects related to spatial cognition, language processing, embodied cognition and mental simulation, brain stimulation, affective processing, and decision making. Along with Julie Cantelon, Amanda co-manages the daily activities of the lab. Email at aholmes8 [at] gmail.com

Caroline R. Mahoney, Ph.D.
Visiting Scholar

Caroline received her Ph.D. in experimental cognition from Tufts University. She presently is a cognitive psychologist for the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) in Natick, MA, and a Visiting Scholar here in our lab. Caroline studies dietary effects on cognitive and physical performance, and spatial memory.

Joe M. Moran, Ph.D.
Visiting Scholar

Joe received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Dartmouth College, and completed post-doctoral fellowships at MIT and Harvard. He is presently a cognitive scientist for the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) in Natick, MA, and a Visiting Scholar here in our lab. Joe researches the neuroanatomical organization of human social cognition as revealed by brain imaging (fMRI), and the nature of age-related changes in this organization. 

Primary Collaborators

Stephanie A. Gagnon (Stanford University)
Elena Andonova (New Bulgarian University)
Tali Ditman (Massachusetts General Hospital)
Brett Q. Ford (University of Denver)
Eric Hodgson (Miami University, Ohio)
Robin Kanarek (Tufts University)
Klaus Kessler (University of Glasgow)
Keith Maddox (Tufts University)
Chiara Meneghetti (University of Padua, Italy)
Matthijs Noordzij (University of Twente)
Francesca Pazzaglia (University of Padua, Italy)
Ruth Propper (Montclair State University)
David N. Rapp (Northwestern University)
Cynthia Robin (Northwestern University)
Matthias Scheutz (Tufts University)
Maya Tamir (Hebrew University, Israel)
Ayanna K. Thomas (Tufts University)
Heather Urry (Tufts University)
David Uttal (Northwestern University)
David Waller (Miami University, Ohio)

Qi Wang (University, China)

Recent Graduates

Qi Wang, Ph.D. (2013)
A. Reyyan Bilge, Ph.D. (2009)
Tad T. Brunye, Ph.D. (2007)
Caroline R. Mahoney, Ph.D. (2001)
David N. Rapp, Ph.D. (post-doc)

Undergraduate Research Assistants:

Michael Fitzgerald
Nikhil Gopal
Colleen Hart
Aliza Howitt
Daniel Kaufman
Kiran Lockhande (Honors thesis: Emotional state and visual attention)
Jay McNamara
Peter Millar
Eliza Walters (Honors thesis: Mentally simulating tactile properties during reading)
Daniel Wong (Honors thesis: Modal-specific information in perspective-taking)

Site developed and maintained by Tad Brunye: tbrunye@alumni.tufts.edu