Vanessa R. Simmering

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Empirical attempts to understand connections between abstract cognition and sensori-motor processes have pointed toward an embodied view of cognition, where cognitive activity is strongly tied to sensori-motor activity. Here the authors test the ability of the cognitive system to impose structure on the world using a well-established phenomenon in spatial(More)
A central goal in cognitive and developmental science is to develop models of behavior that can generalize across both tasks and development while maintaining a commitment to detailed behavioral prediction. This paper presents tests of one such model, the Dynamic Field Theory (DFT). The DFT was originally proposed to capture delay-dependent biases in(More)
A well-known characteristic of working memory (WM) is its limited capacity. The source of such limitations, however, is a continued point of debate. Developmental research is positioned to address this debate by jointly identifying the source(s) of limitations and the mechanism(s) underlying capacity increases. Here we provide a cross-domain survey of(More)
Three experiments tested whether geometric biases--biases away from perceived reference axes--reported in spatial recall tasks with pointing responses generalized to a recognition task that required a verbal response. Seven-year-olds and adults remembered the location of a dot within a rectangle and then either reproduced its location or verbally selected a(More)
Within cognitive neuroscience, computational models are designed to provide insights into the organization of behavior while adhering to neural principles. These models should provide sufficient specificity to generate novel predictions while maintaining the generality needed to capture behavior across tasks and/or time scales. This paper presents one such(More)
The change detection task has been used in dozens of studies with adults to measure visual working memory capacity. Two studies have recently tested children in this task, suggesting a gradual increase in capacity from 5 years to adulthood. These results contrast with findings from an infant looking paradigm suggesting that capacity reaches adult-like(More)
Working memory is a vital cognitive skill that underlies a broad range of behaviors. Higher cognitive functions are reliably predicted by working memory measures from two domains: children's performance on complex span tasks, and infants' performance in looking paradigms. Despite the similar predictive power across these research areas, theories of working(More)
Models proposed to account for reference frame effects in spatial cognition often account for performance in some tasks well, but fail to generalize to other tasks. Here, we demonstrate that a new process account of spatial working memory--the dynamic field theory (DFT)--can bridge the gap between perceptual and memory processes in position discrimination(More)
Five experiments explored the influence of visual and kinesthetic/proprioceptive reference frames on location memory. Experiments 1 and 2 compared visual and kinesthetic reference frames in a memory task using visually-specified locations and a visually-guided response. When the environment was visible, results replicated previous findings of biases away(More)
Visual working memory (VWM) capacity has been studied extensively in adults, and methodological advances have enabled researchers to probe capacity limits in infancy using a preferential looking paradigm. Evidence suggests that capacity increases rapidly between 6 and 10 months of age. To understand how the VWM system develops, we must understand the(More)