Research Review

From 2005 through 2010, I had the “pleasure” of riding a New York subway a dozen times a week – four round trips between a Queens flat and our Center on Manhattan, with side trips to schools in Harlem, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. This meant a dozen waits of unpredictable duration on subway platforms, plus a dozen quarter-hours of standing in a lurching car, unable to use computers, phones, newspapers, etc. Aided by the University of Minnesota’s spectacular electronic library, this allowed a good look at ongoing research about the fascinating topic of spatial reasoning. Over six years, I reviewed more than 4200 research papers in neuroscience, developmental psychology, vision research, linguistics, geographic information systems, architecture, and robot engineering. For students in my seminars, I drafted a dozen “chapters” to summarize the research – I gladly make these available to anyone interested in grounding their educational efforts in something more than intuitive plausibilities and wishful thinking.

Read these here, or copy them to your hard drive (but no further without asking permission, please!)

They’re free, but please send me an email to say how you plan to use them:


Repeat: they’re free, but please email to say how you plan to use them:


For a brief review of research about spatial reasoning with visual images like maps, see
Appendix to Chapter 6 in Teaching Geography (Guilford Press, 3rd ed., 2014;