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Research Interests for Ruth S. Day

Research Interests: Basic Cognition (comprehension, memory, representation, language, problem solving); Everyday Cognition (medical cognition, courtroom cognition, human movement perception and memory, virtual reality learning)

Cognitive processes, especially memory and comprehension.  How they work in both controlled laboratory experiments and in everyday settings (e.g., medical cognition, courtroom cognition, perception and memory for human movement).

Cognitive Processes
A wide range of basic cognitive processes and their interconnections, especially perception, memory, comprehension, representation, language and problem solving. Special emphasis on: 1) alternative mental representations (e.g., text, lists, outlines, matrices, trees, diagrams) and their effects on cognition; 2) linguistic codability (the ease with which people can name things and the effects of naming on cognition and action); 3) perception and interpretation of human movement; 4) individual differences in cognition (the distinction between "language-based" and "language-optional" individuals); 5) knowledge structures (what they are, how to measure them, how they vary across content domains and expertise).

Everday Cognition

Cognitive processes in everyday life, examined both in the everyday world and laboratory settings. Major projects include:  1) Medical Cognition (how healthcare providers and patients find, understand, remember and use medical information);  2) Courtroom Cognition (how judges, jurors, lawyers, and laypersons  understand legal documents and decide court cases);  3) Memory for Movement (how dancers and athletes learn, remember, and perform movement sequences); 4) Responsive Virtual Human Technology (how humans interact with virtual humans to learn new skills); 5) Cognition and Teaching (cognitive processes of professors and students across academic domains and their implications for teaching/learning).


For additional information, see:

Cognition, Comprehension, Medical Cognition, Memory, Memory for Movement, Side effects, Virtual reality
Current projects:
1) Medical Cognition
2) Perception of Human Movement
3) Memory for Movement
4) Human-Computer Interaction in Virtual Reality
Representative Publications   (search)
  1. Day, RS, Comprehension of prescription drug information: Overview of a research program, Argumentation for Consumer Healthcare, AAAI Spring Symposium - Technical Report, vol. SS-06-01 (2006), pp. 24-33 [org[abs].
  2. Hubal, RC; Day, RS, Informed consent procedures: An experimental test using a virtual character in a dialog systems training application, Journal of Biomedical Informatics, vol. 39 no. 5 (2006), pp. 532-540 [yjbin], [doi[abs].

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