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Space Cognition

Mental Representation und Transformation of Objekts
Task Processing in 3D Space
Virtual Orientation und Interaction in Space

The research focus Space Cognition aims to model and experimentally examine spatial and embodied cognitive processes. In this, our work particularly focuses on applications in human-machine contexts.

Humans are required to process spatial information in many (especially innovative) human-machine systems. On the one hand, this concerns the position and motion of objects, relative to the human or to each other. Air-Traffic-Control officers who judge and predict the position and motion of aircraft can be seen as one example. On the other hand humans are required to know and predict their own position in space (e.g. in navigation tasks).

The cognitive processes applied in these tasks are to be modeled and simulated in the focus program Space and Embodiment. Thereby, this research focus contributes new approaches to the greater goal of holistic modeling and simulation of complex human-machine systems.


Embodiment and interaction

The concept of "embodiment" is understood as the relationship between the mind (mind, thought, cognitive system, psyche) and the whole body (action). They are connected by the blood circulation, afferent and efferent nerve pathways. Signals from the brain are directed to the body and trigger a reaction. In turn, processes in the body transmit signals to the brain and change its functioning. Mind and body are embedded in the environment (e.g. other humans, nature, technical devices). The connections between mind, body, and environment are reciprocal. That means one change forces an equivalent reaction to the change. Everything can be measured individually but must always be viewed in coherence with each other. Therefore, the whole human being should be examined when interacting with a technical device, for example a robot. In addition, the mutual influence factors within humans and between humans and the environment (e.g. robots) are also crucial for research approach.


Team Space Cognition

Nele Rußwinkel

Alexander Lotz

Alexandra Weidemann


Finished Theses



Mental Rotation in ACT-R




Project-related Publications

Joeres, F. (2014). Kognitive Modellierung von mentaler Rotation (Masterarbeit). Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin..

Joeres, F. and Russwinkel, N. (2014). Object-related learning effects in mental rotation. In Freksa, C. and Nebel, B. and Hegarty, M. and Barkowsky, T. (Eds.), Spatial Cognition 2014: Poster Presentations, p. 56-59.

Joeres, F. and Russwinkel, N. (2014). Introduction of an ACT-R based modeling approach to mental rotation. Cognitive Processing, 15(Suppl. 1), p. S112-S114.

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