Sarah Creem-Regehr, Ph.D.

Professor, Cognition and Neural Science | CNS

Contact Information

Office: 1003 BEHS
Phone: (801) 581-5045

Research Interests

Cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying space perception and spatial cognition, perception and action, spatial transformations and motor imagery, embodied cognition, virtual environments

In a recent WIREs: Cognitive Science review paper (Creem‐Regehr & Kunz, 2010), I propose five perspectives on perception and action. While some may view these perspectives as more different than similar, I argue that they are connected by the common approach that considers action as critical for the understanding of space and object perception. This view is what drives my research in our Visual Perception and Spatial Cognition laboratory. In graduate school, I became intrigued by the proposal that perception is more than just our awareness of the world, but just as importantly, that perception serves the function of action in the world. While behavioral and neuropsychological evidence was provided for separate systems underlying awareness versus action in the world, I became most interested in how perception and action systems interact. I have pursued the interaction between perception and action in several ways, addressing mechanisms underlying space perception, perception of tools, and imagined spatial transformations. My research serves two goals: to further develop theories of perception‐action processing mechanisms and to apply these theories to relevant real‐world problems in order to facilitate observers’ understanding of their spatial environments.

Opportunities For Students

The Visual Perception and Spatial Cognition (VPSC) laboratory has many opportunities for undergraduate research assistants to participate in all aspects of our research. Our research is fun and interactive, involving tasks measuring space perception and spatial cognition in real and virtual environments. It is a great experience to add to graduate school applications as well! If interested, please email Dr. Creem-Regehr at and see our lab web page

Dr. Creem-Regehr will be considering graduate student applicants to start in Fall 2016. Please email her with your interests.


Ph.D., University of Virginia (Psychology, 2000)
M.A. University of Virginia (Psychology, 1997)
B.A. Colgate University (Psychology, 1994)

Selected Publications

Gagnon, K. T., Geuss, M. N., Stefanucci, J. K., Baucom, B., & Creem-Regehr, S. H. (2015). The influence of body size and social context on action judgments for self and others. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. 07/2015; DOI:10.1037/xhp0000089

Rand, K. M., Creem-Regehr, S. H., & Thompson, W. B. (2015). Spatial learning while navigating with severely degraded vision: The role of attention and mobility monitoring. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 41, 649-664.

Creem-Regehr, S. H., Payne, B., & Rand, K. M. & Hansen, G. (2014). Scaling space with the mirror illusion: The influence of body plasticity on perceived affordances. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21 (2), 398-405.

Creem-Regehr, S. H., Gagnon, K. T., Geuss, M. N., & Stefanucci, J. K. (2013). Relating spatial perspective taking to the perception of others’ affordances: Providing a foundation for predicting the future behavior of others. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 7:596.

Rand, K. M., Tarampi, M. R., Creem-Regehr, S. H., & Thompson, W. B. (2011). The importance of a visual horizon for distance judgments under severely degraded vision. Perception, 40, 143-154.

Creem-Regehr, S. H. & Kunz, B. R. (2010). Perception and Action. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science.

Kunz, B. R., Creem-Regehr, S. H., & Thompson, W. B. (2009). Evidence for motor simulation in imagined locomotion. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 35(5), 1458-1471.

My current graduate students

Lace Padilla
Ian Ruginski