Vanessa Simmering, PhD


American College Testing (ACT)
Iowa City, IA

Vanessa Simmering, PhD

BS, Psychology, 2001, University of Iowa
PhD, Psychology, 2008, University of Iow

Research Interests
Dr. Simmering’s research investigates the development of perception, action, and cognition, with an emphasis on visuo-spatial cognition. In particular, she studies how young children (ages 2-6 years) learn and remember objects’ properties and locations in space. Her research also utilizes dynamic neural field models to understand how brain development might relate to the behavioral development studied in the lab.

Currently, Dr. Simmering’s lab has two primary lines of research. First, they are 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 her previous research on how children visually perceive and remember locations within object-centered frames of reference. Second, the lab is 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. Dr. Simmering is particularly interested in whether developmental changes in memory for object features parallel changes in memory for spatial locations during early childhood, and the implications of these developmental patterns for our understanding of the role of experience in cognitive development.

Simmering Lab

PubMed Listing of Publications