Laura H. Carnell Professor

318 Weiss Hall
1701 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122

Temple Infant and Child Lab (TICL)
Research in Spatial Cognition (RISC) Lab
Temple Institute for Learning and Education Sciences (TILES)


Cognition, Development, Spatial thinking, Memory, STEM education


Nora S. Newcombe, Ph.D. , is a Professor of Psychology at Temple University and PI of the Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC), headquartered at Temple and involving Northwestern, the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania as primary partners. Dr. Newcombe was educated at Antioch College, where she graduated with a major in psychology in 1972; and at Harvard University, where she received her Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Relations in 1976. She taught previously at Penn State University.

Dr. Newcombe has served as Editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General and as Associate Editor of Psychological Bulletin, as well as on numerous editorial boards and grant review panels. She is currently an Associate Editor for Cognitive Psychology and for WIRES in Cognitive Science. Honors include the William James Fellow Award from APS and the George Miller Award and the G. Stanley Hall Awards from APA, the Award for Distinguished Service to Psychological Science, also from APA, and the Women in Cognitive Science Mentor Award. She is a fellow of four divisions of the American Psychological Association (General, Experimental, Developmental, and Psychology of Women), of the American Psychological Society, of the Cognitive Science Society, and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin. She is a member of the American Academy of A rts and Sciences and the Society of Experimental Psychologists.

Selected Publications

  • Newcombe, N.S., Uttal, D.H. & Sauter, M. (2013). Spatial development. In P. Zelazo (Ed.), Oxford handbook of developmental psychology, Vol. 1: Body and mind (pp. 564-590). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Cromley, J.C., Bergey, B.W., Fitzhugh, S., Newcombe, N., Wills, T.W., Shipley, T.F. & Tanaka, J. C. (2013). Effects of three diagram instruction methods on transfer of diagram comprehension skills: The critical role of inference while learning. Learning and Instruction. 26, 45-58.
  • Holden, M. P., Newcombe, N.S. & Shipley, T.F. (2013). Location memory in the real world: Category adjustment effects in 3-dimensional space. Cognition, 128, 45-55. (PDF)
  • Schinazi, V.R., Nardi, D., Newcombe, N.S., Shipley, T.F. & Epstein, R.A. (2013). Hippocampal size predicts rapid learning of a cognitive map in humans. Hippocampus, 23, 515-528.
  • Koski, J., Olson, I. R. & Newcombe, N.S. (2013). Tracking the eyes to see what children remember. Memory, 21, 396-407.
  • Harris, J., Hirsh-Pasek, K. & Newcombe, N.S. (2013). Understanding spatial transformations: Similarities and differences between mental rotation and mental folding. Cognitive Processing, 14, 105-115.
  • Frick, A., Ferrara, K. & Newcombe, N.S. (2013). Using a touch screen paradigm to assess the development of mental rotation between 3 ½ and 5 ½ years of age. Cognitive Processing, 14, 117-127.
  • Göksun, T., Goldin-Meadow, S., Newcombe, N.S. & Shipley, T.F. (2013). Individual differences in mental rotation: What does gesture tell us? Cognitive Processing, 14, 153-162. (PDF)
  • Nardi, D., Newcombe, N.S. & Shipley, T.F. (2013). Reorienting with terrain slope and landmarks. Memory and Cognition, 41, 214-228. DOI: 10.3758/s13421-012-0254-9
  • Twyman, A. D., Newcombe, N.S. & Gould, T.G. (2013). Malleability in the development of spatial reorientation. Developmental Psychobiology, 55, 243-255. DOI: 10.1002/dev.21017
  • Twyman, A., D., Nardi, D. & Newcombe, N. S. (2013). Two fields are better than one: Developmental and comparative perspectives on understanding spatial reorientation. Comparative Cognition and Behavior Reviews, 8, 78-97.
  • Uttal, D.H., Meadow, N. G., Tipton, E., Hand, L. L. Alden, A. R., Warren, C. & Newcombe, N.S. (2013). The malleability of spatial skills: A meta-analysis of training studies. Psychological Bulletin, 139, 352-402. DOI: 10.1037/a0028446
  • Harris, J., Hirsh-Pasek, K. & Newcombe, N.S. (2013). A new twist on studying the development of dynamic spatial transformations: Mental paper folding in young children. Mind, Brain and Education, 7, 49-55.