Research in the Navigation Laboratory focuses on spatial cognition. Topics include how we perceive, remember, and navigate through the environment. These abilities are central to navigation tasks such as driving home from work, finding an unfamiliar building on campus, or navigating through an immersive virtual environment. Many of the experiments conducted in our lab use virtual reality, which provides a high level of control over environmental properties that are often difficult to manipulate in the real world. Using virtual reality also highlights some of the deficiencies of modern virtual environments, such as inaccurate distance perception, and also highlights the need for developing and evaluating new navigation interfaces for exploring virtual environments. Our lab conducts both basic and applied research on human spatial cognition. We seek to better understand basic spatial cognitive processes, and to apply that understanding to improve usability of technologies such as virtual reality.
The Navigation Lab is located in the Department of Psychology and is affiliated with the Human-Computer Interaction Program. If you are interested in getting involved in the Navigation Lab as an undergraduate student, graduate student, or postdoc, please contact the lab director Dr. Jonathan Kelly.