David H. Uttal

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Northwestern University


Other information

SILC Faculty Member and member of our Spatial Network.

Biographical Sketch: David H. Uttal, Ph.D.


Professional Preparation:

Undergraduate Institution: College of William and Mary, Psychology, B.S. 1983 Graduate Institution: University of Michigan, Psychology (Developmental), Ph.D, 1989 Postdoctoral Institution: University of Illinois, Psychology (Developmental), 1991-1993


1993-Present. Assistant to Professor of Psychology and Education, Northwestern University

1998 Visiting Scholar, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

1991-1993 Assistant Professor of Psychology, Virginia Tech



5 Publications Most Closely Related to the Current Proposal

1) Ware, E. A., Uttal, D. H., & DeLoache, J. S. (2010). Everyday Scale Errors. Developmental Science, 13(1), 28-36.

2) Uttal, D. H., Liu, Linda L., Lewis, A., & Gentner, D. (2008). Developmental changes in children's understanding of the similarity between photographs and their referents. Developmental Science, 11(1), 156-170.

3) Uttal, D. H., & O’Doherty, K. (2008). Comprehending and learning from visual representations: A developmental approach. In J. Gilbert, M. Reiner, & M. Nakhleh (Eds.), Visualization: Theory and practice in science education (pp. 53-72). New York: Springer.

3) Ware, E. A., Uttal, D. H., Wetter, E. K., & DeLoache, J. S. (2006). Young children make scale errors when playing with dolls. Developmental Science, 9, 40-45.

4) Uttal, D. H., Fisher, J. A., & Taylor, H. (2006). Words and maps: developmental changes in mental models of spatial information acquired from descriptions and depictions. Developmental Science, 9, 221-235.


5 Other Significant Publications

1) Uttal, D. H., Newcombe, N. S., & Sandstrom, L. M. (2006). One hidden object, two spatial codes: Young children’s use of vector and relational coding. Journal of Cognition and Development, 7, 503-525.

2) Uttal, D. H. (2003). On the relation between play and symbolic thought: The case of mathematics manipulatives. In B. Spodek and O. Sarracho (Eds.), Contemporary perspectives in early childhood education (pp. 97-114). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.  

3) Liu, L. L., & Uttal, D. H. (1999). The interaction of symmetry and familiarity in childrenís reconstruction of spatial configurations. Spatial Cognition and Computation, 1, 111-129.

4) Uttal, D. H., Scudder, K. V., & DeLoache, J. S. (1997). Manipulatives as symbols: A new perspective on the use of concrete objects to teach mathematics. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 18, 37-54.

5) Uttal, D. H., DeLoache, J. S., & Schreiber, J. C. (1995), Waiting to use a symbol: The effects of delay on childrenís use of models. Child Development, 66, 18751889.


Synergistic Activities:

I am actively involved in activities that are bringing together researchers and educators from the cognitive science and physical science communities. I have served as an invited representative of the cognitive science community at conferences that have been attended primarily by chemists, physicists, and geologists. My contribution to the current proposal is a natural extension of my prior synergistic activates. I also serve as a research scientist on an interdisciplinary project to uncover methods of advancing spatial intelligence through education.  

Collaborators and Other Affiliations:

Jeremy Bailenson, Stanford University

Robert Bateman, University of Southern Mississippi

Megan Chamberlin, Indiana University

Judy DeLoache, University of Virginia

Joan Fisher, University of Chicago

Alinda Friedman, University of Alberta

Susan Goldin-Meadow, University of Chicago

Alma Gottlieb, University of Illinois

Maeve Hennerty, Northwestern University

Robert Kolvoord, James Madison University

Susan Levine, University of Chicago

Linda Liu, Northwestern University

Kevin Miller, University of Michigan

Nora Newcombe, Temple University

Michael Payne, Northwestern University

Sophia Pieroutsakos, Furman University

David Rapp, Northwestern University

Karl Rosengren, Northwestern University

Michael Stieff, University of Maryland

Holly Taylor, Tufts University


Graduate and Post-doctoral Advisors:

Judy DeLoache, University of Illinois (now University of Virginia) (Post-doctoral
Kevin Miller, University of Illinois (Post-doctoral Advisor)
Harold Stevenson, University of Michigan (Graduate Advisor) (deceased)
Henry Wellman, University of Michigan (Graduate Advisor)
Thesis Advisor and Postgraduate-Scholar Sponsor (Total 7 Students Advised):
Clare Davies (Northwestern University)
Linda Liu, University of MichiganMegan Sauter (Graduate Student)
Lisa Tan, Glenbrook School District, Glenview, Illinois
Donna Vaught, Kennedy Institute for Developmental Disabilities, Baltimore, MD
Elizabeth Ware (Graduate Student)
Amanda Schaal (Graduate Student)

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