University of Wisconsin–Madison

Vanessa Simmering, PhD

Assistant Professor, Psychology

Vanessa Simmering, PhD

PhD, University of Iowa

Contact Information

Department of Psychology
University of Wisconsin – Madison
1202 West Johnson St.
Madison, WI 53706

Research Statement

My research investigates the development of perception, action, and cognition, with an emphasis on visuo-spatial cognition. In particular, I study how young children (ages 2-6 years) learn and remember objects properties and locations in space. My research also utilizes dynamic neural field models to understand how brain development might relate to the behavioral development I study in the lab.

Currently, I have two primary lines of research. First, I am investigating how children learn to maintain spatial orientation, that is, how they coordinate their body with the locations of objects as they move through space; this work, builds on my previous research on how children perceive and remember locations within object-centered frames of reference. Second, I am studying how memory for object features is changing during early development, specifically whether there are changes in the number of items that children can remember, and the precision of their memory representations. I am particularly interested in whether developmental changes in visual cognition parallel change in spatial cognition during early childhood, and the implications of these developmental patterns for our understanding of the role of experience in cognitive development.

Selected Publications