Melissa Beck

Professional Title
About Me (Bio)
Melissa received her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Ohio University, and her doctoral degree in Experimental Psychology from Kent State University. While at Kent State University she worked with Daniel T. Levin examining visual metacogntion and visual attention and representations. She then completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Human Factors and Applied Cognition Lab in the Department of Psychology at George Mason University working with Matthew Peterson. This collaboration broadened Melissa's interest to examining the roles of attention and memory in visual search. Melissa then became a National Research Council Research Associate at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC and collaborated with Greg Trafton. Here she more finely developed the applied goals of her research. Currently, Melissa is a Professor at Louisiana State University.
Citations of DRK-12 or Related Work (DRK-12 work is denoted by *)

Moen, K. C., Beck, M. R., Saltzmann, S. M., Burleigh, L. M., Butler, L. G., Ramanujam, J., Cohen, A. S., & Greening, S. G. (2020). Strengthening spatial reasoning: Elucidating the attentional and neural mechanisms associated with mental rotation skill development. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 20(5).


Louisiana State University (LSU)

One crucial predictor of success in STEM disciplines is spatial reasoning ability, which involves mentally manipulating and representing objects in space. However, STEM courses often neglect the purposeful development of spatial reasoning skills, and limited knowledge exists on effective training methods. This project aims to address this gap by: 1) identifying neural and cognitive processes associated with successful mental rotation, a fundamental aspect of spatial reasoning; 2) assessing the responsiveness of these processes to training; and 3) measuring the transfer of training effects to real-world STEM problems, specifically focusing on introductory chemistry.