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Timothy P. McNamara

Ginny and Conner Searcy Dean, College of Arts and Science
Professor of Psychology

My research investigates human memory, cognition, and decision making, with a particular focus on spatial processing.  My research has investigated the metric structure of spatial memory, the spatial reference systems used in memory to represent the locations of objects in the environment, and how people update representations of their own location and orientation during locomotion.  Current experiments are examining how people use spatial cues to location and orientation (e.g., landmarks in the environment and body-based cues, such as vestibular, proprioceptive, and efference-copy information) during navigation to estimate their position and the locations of goals.  These studies use Bayesian decision theory as a theoretical framework for examining the complex sensory-perceptual and decision processes involved in navigation. 

Lab Website

Representative Publications

Top cited
      McNamara, T. P. (1986). Mental representations of spatial relations. Cognitive psychology18(1), 87-121.

      Shelton, A. L., & McNamara, T. P. (2001). Systems of spatial reference in human memory. Cognitive psychology43(4), 274-310.
      Mou, W., & McNamara, T. P. (2002). Intrinsic frames of reference in spatial memory. Journal of experimental psychology: learning,        memory, and cognition28(1), 162.

      McNamara, T. P. (2005). Semantic priming: Perspectives from memory and word recognition. New York: Psychology Press.