UNK’s Katherine Moen discussing link between mental rotation and STEM skills

Katherine Moen
Katherine Moen

WHAT: University of Nebraska at Kearney Science Café

HOSTED BY: Sigma Xi The Scientific Research Honor Society

TITLE: “Optimizing STEM skills: Understanding the attentional and neural mechanisms of mental rotation”

TOPIC: Spatial reasoning is a critical skill in STEM disciplines and in many everyday tasks. Performance on spatial reasoning tasks, such as mental rotation, predicts success in chemistry, engineering, aviation and several other professions. Thus, understanding how to improve mental rotation is critical for STEM education. UNK assistant professor of psychology Katherine Moen will discuss her research that examined how training on mental rotation impacts performance on these tasks, and how training may generalize to more complex stimuli like chemical structures. This study utilized eye-tracking and brain imaging to determine how mental rotation training impacts performance.

PRESENTER: Moen is originally from South Dakota, where she received her Bachelor of Science in psychology from South Dakota State University. She earned a Master of Science in behavioral neuroscience at Seton Hall University before beginning a doctoral program at Louisiana State University. Moen received her doctorate in cognitive and brain sciences from LSU in 2019 and joined the UNK faculty that fall. Her primary research interests include human memory and attention, and she often uses eye-tracking technology to help answer her research questions.

TIME: 5:30 p.m.

DATE: Monday, Jan. 27

PLACE: The Loft, Cunningham’s Journal, 15 W. 23rd St., Kearney

CONTACT: Allen Thomas, UNK associate professor of chemistry, 308.865.8490, thomasaa@unk.edu