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Phillip Newman

PhD Candidate
Research Area: Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience

My ongoing research is investigating how humans combine multiple sensory cues during spatial navigation. I also study how people construct and retrieve memories of the environment. As part of these endeavors, I develop experiments in immersive virtual reality and employ behavioral and computational modeling techniques. I'm also collaborating with researchers at Johns Hopkins University to develop a diagnostic tool for individuals with vestibular impairments. I did my undergraduate studies at the University of Louisville, where I worked with the Learning and Performance lab to develop exploratory learning approaches to classroom instruction. In my spare time, I like to peruse RateYourMusic in search of new albums to listen to, compete in local dart leagues, and blowup strangers online in Warzone.

Representative Publications

Newman, P. M., Qi, Y., Mou, W., & McNamara, T. P. (under review). Statistically optimal cue integration during human spatial navigation.

DeCaro, M. S., Bego, C. R., Newman, P. M., & Velic, L. (under review). Exploring novel problems before instruction: the importance of highlighting problem features.

Newman, P. M. & McNamara, T. P. (revision invited). Integration of visual landmark cues in spatial memory.

Newman, P. M., Cox, G. E., & McNamara, T. P. (2020). A computational cognitive model of judgments of relative direction. Cognition. DOI:10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104559

Newman, P. M. & McNamara, T. P. (2020). A comparison of methods of assessing cue combination during navigation. Behavior Research Methods. DOI:10.3758/s13428-020-01451-y

Ciurea, S. A., Maxcey, A. M., & Newman, P. M. (2020). Why do we choke under pressure? Frontiers for Young Minds. 8:56

Newman, P. M. & DeCaro, M. S. (2019). Learning by exploring: how much guidance is optimal? Learning and Instruction, 62, 49-63.

Newman, P. M. & DeCaro, M. S. (2018). How much support is optimal during exploratory learning? Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Madison, WI: Cognitive Science Society.


Vanderbilt Department of Psychology Graduate Student Scholarship (2020)

Vanderbilt Graduate Student Travel Grant (2020)

Psychonomics Graduate Student Travel Award (2019)

Vanderbilt Department of Psychology Graduate Student Scholarship (2019)

Glushko Student Travel Award (2018)

Virginia B. Seely Outstanding Psychology Senior Award (2018)

Amber Heuerman Research Travel Fund (2017)

Undergraduate Research Grant, University of Louisville (2016)