Call for Papers

Extended Call for Papers

University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia,
August 26-28, 2020

Spatial Cognition is concerned with the acquisition, development, representation, organization, and use of knowledge about spatial objects in real, virtual or hybrid environments and processed by human or artificial agents. Spatial Cognition includes research from fields such as cognitive and developmental psychology, linguistics, computer science, geography, cartography, philosophy, neuroscience, and education. The conference is single-track, and the final program will be the result of a selective review process. The program will include oral and poster presentations of refereed papers, symposia and keynote talks.


Sara I. Fabrikant (Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland)
Steve Franconeri (Cognitive Science, Design, Northwestern University, USA)
Laure Rondi-Reig (Neuroscience, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France)


CO-CHAIRS: Prof. Nora Newcombe (Psychology, USA), Prof. Jurgis Skilters (Cognitive Science, Computing Science, Latvia), Prof. David Uttal (Psychology, Education, USA)


  • Thomas Barkowsky (Computing Science, Germany)
  • Iva Brunec (Cognitive Science, Canada)
  • Ģirts Burgmanis (Geography, Latvia)
  • Claus-Christian Carbon (Psychology, Design, Germany)
  • Kenny Coventry (Psychology, UK)
  • Christian Freksa (Computing Science, Germany)
  • Michael Glanzberg (Philosophy, Cognitive Science, USA)
  • Rob Goldstone (Psychology, USA)
  • Alex Klippel (Geography, Psychology, USA)
  • Laura Lakusta (Psychology, Montclair State University, USA)
  • Barbara Landau (Psychology, USA)
  • Suzi Lima (Psycholinguistics, Anthropology, Canada)
  • Tim McNamara (Psychology, USA)
  • Pritty Patel-Grosz (Linguistics, Norway)
  • Michel Peer (Neuroscience, Israel/USA)
  • Emily Grossnickle Peterson (Education, USA)
  • Baingio Pinna (Psychology, Arts, Italy)
  • Aina Puce (Neuroscience, USA)
  • Leo Selavo (Computing Science, Latvia)
  • Katarzyna Stoltmann (Linguistics, Germany)
  • Jose Sotello (Psychology, USA)
  • Mike Stieff (Chemistry, Education, Psychology, USA)
  • Daina Taimiņa (Mathematics, USA)
  • Cees van Leeuwen (Neuroscience, Belgium)
  • Līga Zariņa (Mathematics, Geoscience, Cognitive Science, Latvia)
  • Mila Vulchanova (Psychology, Linguistics, Norway)
  • Yoad Winter (Linguistics, The Netherlands)
  • Joost Zwarts (Linguistics, The Netherlands)


General Chair: Prof. Guntis Arnicāns (Computing Science, University of Latvia). CO-CHAIRS: Dr. Līga Zariņa (Mathematics, Geoscience, Cognitive Science, University of Latvia), Kaspars Čikste (Finance Management & Coordination, Faculty of Computing, University of Latvia)


Vice-Rector Dr. Agrita Kiopa (Riga Stradins University, Latvia)
Prof. Leo Selavo (Computing Science, University of Latvia)
Liene Viļuma (Information Science, University of Latvia)
Jeļena Poļakova (Communication Science, University of Latvia)
Rihards Rūmnieks (Computing Science, University of Latvia)
Dace Šostaka (Linguistics, Computing Science, University of Latvia)

Institutional partner: Riga Stradins University


1.Submissions for Oral Presentations presenting original and unpublished work are solicited in all areas of spatial cognition. Authors may choose to submit in either one of two ways.

a. For inclusion in an edited volume (Springer Springer Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence series of Spatial Cognition volumes: For an overview see: Short papers submitted for inclusion in the conference book published by Springer should be 12-17 pages in length. If accepted, reviewer comments will be sent to allow for revision for publication.

b. Short papers not aimed at book publication should not exceed 1,200 words (including figures, tables, and references). Some short paper submissions may be accepted for poster presentation.

2. Submissions for Poster Presentations (abstracts) are solicited in all areas of spatial cognition. Poster abstracts should not exceed 500 words (including figures, tables, and references).

3. Submissions for Symposia or Workshops. Symposia or workshops may be scheduled on Tuesday, August 25, in parallel with the two satellite conferences. To organize a symposium, please send a 500-word overview, and then follow the rules for short papers. To organize a workshop, please submit a proposal not to exceed 1200 words. 

All submissions must be written in English, formatted according to Springer LNAI formatting guidelines, and submitted by March 15, 2020 via the EasyChair submission webpage. Authors should consult Springer’s authors’ guidelines and use their proceedings templates, either for LaTeX or for Word, for the preparation of their papers. Springer encourages authors to include their ORCIDs in their papers. In addition, the corresponding author of each paper, acting on behalf of all of the authors of that paper, must complete and sign a Consent-to-Publish form. The corresponding author signing the copyright form should match the corresponding author marked on the paper. Once the files have been sent to Springer, changes relating to the authorship of the papers cannot be made. Springer’s proceedings LaTeX templates are available in Overleaf.

All submissions (short papers and abstracts) will be reviewed the Program Committee. Accepted submissions must be presented at the conference (at least one author of each submission must register by 15 June 2020 or the presentation/poster will be dropped from the program).

Contact regarding technical submission issues: Dace Šostaka (dace.sostaka @ )


On Tuesday, August 25, there will be two satellite conferences and a workshop:

  • Conference on Medical Data Visualisation (co-hosted by Riga Stradins University)
  • Conference on Sensor Technologies and Distributed Systems (co-hosted with EDI institute).
  • NEW: Introductory Workshop to Eye Tracking (Tobii Pro): Hands on workshop on Eye Tracking research in screen-based solutions.
  • Symposium: Spatial Cognition in STEM Learning

On Saturday, August 29, 2020:

15th International Symposium of Cognition, Logic and Communication: Linkages between Space and Memory: Processes and Representations

Satellite Conference on Medical Data Visualisation
(co-hosted by
Riga Stradins University)

As a satellite event for Spatial Cognition 2020 we are interested in discussing the challenges, possibilities of medical data visualization. Contributions referring to variety of formats of medical data are welcome.

Contributions referring to following areas (but not limited to) are welcome:

  • Visuo-spatial abilities and skills in visualisations
  • Visuo-spatial tasks in diagnostics
  • Computational simulations, neural network and hybrid approaches to visualisations
  • Real-time visualizations
  • Expert knowledge in visualisations
  • Patients’ perception of visualizations
  • Visualizing big data

Keynote by 
Professor Jeremy M. Wolfe
Visual Attention Lab, Harvard Medical School,  Department of Surgery, Brigham & Women’s Hospital
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

All submissions to Medical Data Visualization Conference are taking place via SC2020 EasyChair platform. When submitting, please indicate (right after the title of submission) that this is a paper intended for Medical Data Visualisation Conference.

Satellite Conference on Sensor Technologies and Distributed Systems
(co-hosted with EDI institute)

In this full-day event, the participants will have the opportunity to demonstrate their applied research results in the field of spatial cognition through presentations and demonstrations. The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers implementing spatial cognition concepts in such rapidly changing fields as:

  • Artificial intelligence and machine vision for spatial cognition
  • Robotics and smart industrial systems
  • Self-driving vehicles with spatial awareness
  • Other fields related to artificial agents and human-computer interaction

In addition to oral presentations/short papers, participants are welcome to apply for practical demonstrations of their research.

As with the main conference, submissions for oral presentations are solicited in the form of short papers presenting original and unpublished work matching the scope of applied spatial cognition in artificial agents. These short papers should not exceed 1,200 words (including figures, tables, and references). All submissions are taking place via SC2020 EasyChair platform. When submitting, indicate (right after the title of submission) that this is a paper intended for the track of Applied Artificial Spatial Cognition.

A selection of best short paper submissions will be offered an opportunity to submit a full article for publication in a special issue of Journal “Automatic Control and Computer Sciences”.

NEW Workshop: 

Introductory Workshop to Eye Tracking (Tobii Pro)

Eye tracking is a technique that is used frequently to measure where we are looking and for how long, it is non-invasive and allows capturing natural human behavior. In the first part of the workshop we will give a brief introduction to eye tracking as a method, starting from the physiological basis of human attention and the vision system through the method basics and finishing at fields of application in psychological and interdisciplinary research. In the second part, participants will have the chance to join hands-on sessions to try out Tobii Pro’s latest screen-based eye tracking solutions. This workshop is aimed at beginners and advanced eye tracking users, as well as interested parties.

Symposium: Spatial Cognition in STEM Learning
Organizers: Gavin Duffy, Sheryl Sorby, Guenter Maresch

In the 1960s, psychologists began to examine the link between spatial cognition and success in a variety of careers and concluded that these skills are important for scientists, engineers, technologists, and mathematicians, or what we now refer to as STEM. Numerous studies since then have shown there is a strong link between well-developed spatial skills and success in STEM fields. For most STEM fields, the ability to quickly mentally rotate 3-D objects seems to be especially important. Unfortunately, of all the cognitive skills, speeded 3-D rotation abilities exhibit robust gender differences, favoring males and weak spatial cognitive skills could be a factor in the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields. Fortunately, numerous studies have also shown that spatial skills are highly malleable, even into adulthood meaning that students, especially women, can develop these vital skills for STEM success. The specific mechanisms through which spatial skills contribute to STEM success are not known at this time. Some have demonstrated that skill in spatial thinking is required for non-routine problem-solving. Others have found that there is a link between spatial skills and creativity and innovation. Numerous studies have shown the link between spatial and mathematical skills. Since mathematics is the foundation of all STEM fields, high spatial ability could result in success in mathematics, which, in turn, leads to success in a person’s chosen STEM field.

The purpose of this symposium is to bring together those who are interested in exploring the relationship between spatial cognition and specific aspects of STEM learning.  This includes (i) studies that have measured the relationship between different factors of spatial ability and various indicators of success in STEM learning, (ii) intervention studies that have tested spatial ability training and measured its impact on spatial ability development and transfer to STEM learning tasks and (iii) intervention studies in which STEM learning and teaching activities have been adapted to become more spatial or to highlight the spatial aspects so those with low levels of spatial ability are scaffolded to a greater extent when learning STEM concepts.  How these issues are manifest in all levels of STEM education, from primary school through to higher education, are included in this symposium.  Issues of gender and diversity in the spatial ability – STEM learning relationship are also addressed including how girls and boys respond to interventions to improve spatial ability.

List of presenters and titles of papers

Name Title
Maria Kozhevnikov, National University of Singapore Creativity, Visual Abilities and Cognitive Style, and Their Role in Art and Science Education
Marion Zoeggeler and Guenter Maresch, University of Salzburg Students’ Spatial Ability and Solving-Strategies for Spatial Geometrical, Mathematical, and Physical Tasks
Rachel Harding, Technological University Dublin An Investigation of the relationship between middle school science students’ spatial ability and scientific reasoning
Sheryl A. Sorby, University of Cincinnati Scaling Spatial Interventions to Support STEM Learning: The Role of Teacher
Guenter Maresch and Marion Zoeggeler, University of Salzburg The Basic Elements of Spatial Thinking
Gavin Duffy1, Keith Kavanagh2, Sheryl Sorby3 1 Technological University Dublin, 2 ESB Networks DAC, 3 University of Cincinnati A study of cognitive ability in the context of apprenticeship education: recruitment, retention and gender differences.


Submission deadline (individual papers): February 1, 2020, March 15, 2020

Submission of symposia: March 15, 2020
Notification of paper acceptance: April 15,  2020 May 1,  2020
Camera-ready copies of papers:  May 15, 2020 May 25, 2020
Early registration ends: July 1, 2020


Please address all correspondence regarding the organization of the conference to the conference email address: