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Sarah Creem-Regehr




Associate Professor of Psychology

Visual Perception and Spatial Cognition Lab

Brain and Behavior


B.A. 1994, Colgate University; M.A. 1997, University of Virginia; Ph.D 2000, University of Virginia



Cognitive neuroscience; visual perception; visual-motor control; spatial cognition

The ability to perceive our spatial surroundings is critical to tasks ranging from grasping nearby objects to complex navigation through an unfamiliar environment. My research group examines visual perception and spatial cognition with a multidisciplinary approach involving psychology and computer science in the service of both basic and applied research goals.

We aim to understand the information and processes used in spatial behavior, with an emphasis on the computational analysis of visual cues for distance, the influence of representations of the self in perception of space, and the role of body-movement on spatial navigation. Many of these same issues are important to our applied work as well. This includes investigations of how to increase the effectiveness of computer graphics in conveying information about the three-dimensional world, investigating perception under low-vision conditions to aid in the creation of visually accessible environments for the visually impaired, and applying models of arousal and perception to clinical populations.

A significant portion of our work involves immersive virtual environments, both to understand perceptual performance in these devices and to use them as a tool to approach basic research questions in perception and action.

Selected Publications:

Creem-Regehr, S.H. (2010) Body mapping and spatial representation. In F. Dolins and R. Mitchell (Eds.) Spatial Cognition, Spatial Perception. Cambridge University Press, pp. 422-438.

Mohler, B.J., Creem-Regehr, S.H., Thompson, W.B., and Bulthoff, H.B. (2010) The effect of viewing a self-avatar on distance judgments in an HMD-based virtual environment. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments,19(3):230-242.

Tarampi, M., Creem-Regehr, S.H., and Thompson, W.B. (2010) Intact spatial updating with severely degraded vision. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 72:23-27.

Creem-Regehr, S.H. (2009) Sensory-motor and cognitive functions of the human posterior parietal cortex involved in manual actions. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 91:166-171.

Kunz, B.R., Creem-Regehr, S.H., and Thompson, W.B. (2009) Evidence for motor simulation in imagined locomotion. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 35:1458-1471.

Willemsen, P., Gooch, A.A., Thompson, W.B., and Creem-Regehr, S.H. (2008) Effects of stereo viewing conditions on distance perception in virtual environments. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 17:91-101.

Creem-Regehr, S.H., Dilda, V., Vicchrilli, A., Federer, F., and Lee, J. N. (2007) The influence of complex action knowledge on representations of novel graspable objects: Evidence from fMRI. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 13:1009-1020.

Creem-Regehr, S.H., Willemsen, P., Gooch, A.A., and Thompson, W.B. (2005) The influence of restricted viewing conditions on egocentric distance perception: Implications for real and virtual environments. Perception, 34:191–204.

Creem-Regehr, S. H. (2003) Updating space during imagined self- and object-translations. Memory & Cognition, 31:941-952.

Creem, S. H., Downs, T. H., Wraga, M., Harrington, G., Proffitt, D. R., and Downs, J. H. (2001) An fMRI study of imagined self-rotation. Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, 1:239-249.

Creem, S. H., Wraga, M., and Proffitt, D. R. (2001) Imagining physically impossible transformations: Geometry is more important than gravity. Cognition, 81:41-64.

Creem, S. H., and Proffitt, D. R. (2001) Defining the cortical visual systems: What, where, and how. Acta Psychologica, 107:43-63.

Creem, S. H., and Proffitt, D. R. (2001) Grasping objects by their handles: A necessary interaction between cognition and action. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 1:218-228.

Wraga, M., Creem, S. H., and Proffitt, D. R. (2000) Updating displays after imagined object- and viewer-rotations. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition 26:151-168.

Creem, S. H., and Proffitt, D. R. (1999) Separate memories for visual guidance and explicit awareness: The roles of time and place. In: Stratification of Consciousness and Cognition B. H. Challis and B. N. Velichkovsky (Eds.), John Benjamins Publishing, pp. 73-94.

Creem, S. H., and Proffitt, D. R. (1998) Two memories for geographical slant: Separation and interdependence of action and awareness. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 5(1):22-36.


Last Updated: 2/15/24