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The Spatial and Map Cognition Research Laboratory is housed in the Department of Geography at the University of Oregon. We are a an inter and cross disciplinary research laboratory composed of students and faculty, under the direction of Dr. Amy Lobben. Our broader research focus in understanding fundamental behavioral and neurological aspects of map and environmental perception. Our research goals include contributing to geographic method development, broader understandings of environmental accessibility, and spatial thinking education.

The following are some of the ways we approach these goals

  • map use and navigation studies
  • spatial data acquisition measures
  • spatial thinking hypothesis testing
  • critical experimental design
  • fMRI – functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • spatial and map task measurements
  • field validation techniques
  • instrument assessment
  • tactile map development
  • eye tracking
  • crowdsourcing approaches
  • agent based modeling
  • mental mapping
  • route planning studies
  • community outreach

Please direct questions or inquiries to Amy Lobben, lobben at

Research funding for various lab projects has been provided by:

  • National Eye Institute – National Institutes of Health
  • National Science Foundation – BCS-GRS
  • National Science Foundation – HRD-RDE
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse – National Institutes of Health
  • Department of Radiology – Michigan State University
  • Lewis Center for Neuro Imaging – University of Oregon

Please visit faculty and student project sections for more information on specific projects

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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