OMSI Science Pub: From Here to Wear?

Monday, March 2 at 7:00pm  |  $5 suggested donation at door  |

OMSI Science Pub presents: From Here to Wear? A look at Cognitive Mapping, Wayfinding, and Wearable Technology with Paul Platosh , researcher at Oregon State University in the School of Design and Human Environment

Have you ever had the experience of feeling that a road trip seemed shorter on the return than it felt on the outbound leg, even though the route was identical? The reason for this feeling is in part due to a function of the brain known as cognitive mapping. Cognitive mapping can be described as the ability to imprint and recall spatial information in a form of spatial shorthand. These maps form every time we navigate unfamiliar environments, and are revisited and updated by the brain as we become more familiar with an environment. It is a function of the part of the brain known as the Parahippocampal Place Area (PPA), an area whose sole function is spatial cognition.

This talk will explore what we know about cognitive mapping, relevant theories of environmental behavior, as well as a function of the PPA and its disease states. We will also look at current research being conducted at Oregon State involving wearable technology and its effect on cognitive mapping, particularly optical head-mounted displays.

Paul Platosh is a PhD student and researcher at Oregon State University in the department of Design and Human Environment. He focuses his research on technologically mediated wayfinding, cartography, and applications of GIS to societal problems. Prior to pursuing his PhD, Paul was as Associate Professor of Communication Design at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. He works to unite design thinking with spatial thinking by applying geospatial information technology and remote sensing to everyday human problems. He lives in Portland with his family and enjoys geocaching with his boys.

Science Pub Portland – Hollywood Theatre is a monthly event open to all ages. No RSVP or scientific background required. Just bring your curiosity, sense of humor, and appetite for food, drinks, and knowledge!


Tuesday, March 3