top of page


We are looking for participants to complete a study that will help us establish a more comprehensive understanding of spatial abilities in people with down syndrome. We are interested in studying spatial abilities in people with down syndrome because current research is lacking in this area, however it is an important trait to study. Spatial abilities are fundamental cognitive abilities that are necessary for reasoning, communication, and navigation through different environments.

Our current developmental research compares spatial abilities between children, adolescents, and adults with down syndrome or intellectual disabilities and matched groups of typically developing children, adolescents, and adults. The present research will study individual performance on multiple different tasks, including vision, verbal/nonverbal ability, and a variety of spatial tasks (such as mental rotation and wayfinding tasks).

We plan to use the results of our developmental studies to help design targeted intervention programs to improve spatial abilities in children with down syndrome.

To learn more about the type of developmental research we are completing, please view these publications by Dr. Yang:


Yang, Y., Merrill, E. C., & Wang, Q. (2019). Children’s response, landmark, and metric strategies in spatial navigation. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 181, 75-101.

He, W., Yang, Y., & Gao, D. (2018). Proportional Reasoning in 5- to 6-Year-Olds. Journal of Cognition and Development. Available Online. DOI: 10.1080/15248372.2018.1495218

Yang, Y., & Merrill, E. C. (2018). Implicit memory of locations and identities: A developmental study. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 167, 162-179.

Lookadoo, R., Yang, Y. & Merrill, E.C. (2017). Encouraging Top-Down Attention in Visual Search: A Developmental Perspective. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics. doi:10.3758/s13414-017-1379-5.

Yang, Y., Faught, G. Merrill, E.C. (2017). Parent Reports of Wayfinding Activities by Their Children with Down Syndrome. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability. 79(7), 2007-2020. DOI: 10.3109/13668250.2017.1284309


Yang, Y., Conners, F., & Merrill, E.C. (2014). Visuo-spatial ability in individuals with Down syndrome: is it really a strength? –A literature review. Research in Developmental Disabilities. 35(7), 1473-500.


Yang, Y. & Merrill, E. C. (2015). Age-related similarities in contextual cueing in the presence of unpredictive distracters. Journal of Genetic Psychology. 176(1), 11-25. doi:10.1080/00221325.2014.995585

bottom of page