Kristen Macuga

Assitant Professor
Oregon State University
Psychological Science



Phone: (541) 737-1374

Address: School of Psychological Science 229 Reed Lodge Oregon State University Corvallis, OR 97331



Kristen Macuga received her BS in Psychology from James Madison University, and her PhD in Psychological & Brain Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She came to Oregon State University in 2012, and is an Assistant Professor in Oregon State’s School of Psychological Science, where she teaches courses in cognition, perception, research methods, and human factors.

Dr. Macuga is an experimental psychologist who uses virtual and augmented reality to study cognitive and perceptual processes. Her current research examines how people use multisensory information to perform skilled movements requiring high precision.  She is also investigating how the dynamical properties of tools are incorporated into the body’s internal movement representations and evaluating the usability of user interfaces.

Research Interest 

  • Virtual environments
  • Multisensory perception and integration 
  • Skilled performance and motor learning
  • Driver behavior
  • Human-computer interaction

Current, Recent, and Upcoming HCD Courses

  • PSY 643 – Applied Cognition and Human Factors – 4 – Winter or Spring Terms
  • PSY 514 – Research Methods – 4 – Winter Terms
  • PSY 542 – Perception – 4 – Winter Terms
  • PSY 599 – Visual Perception – 4 – Spring Terms

Cognition and Action in Real and Virtual Environments (CARVE) Lab

Location: 140 Moreland Hall
Phone Number: (541) 347 - 1374
Research Equipment and Software: 

  • Head-mounted display (HMD) for virtual reality
  • Video see-through display for augmented reality
  • Infrared and inertial motion tracking 
  • Vizard Virtual Reality Software
  • ARToolKit Augmented Reality SDK
  • SPSS Statistical Analysis Software
  • Autodesk 3ds Max Software

Current Projects

  • Influence of realism and perspective on human behavior in virtual environments
  • Multisensory adaptation for human-machine systems
  • Sensorimotor learning through virtual instruction
  • Usability of graphical interfaces for decision support systems

Selected Publications

  • Macuga, K.L., Loomis, J.M., Beall, A.C., & Kelly, J.W. (2006). Perception of heading without retinal optic flow. Perception, & Psychophysics, 68(5), 872-878.
  • Macuga, K.L., Beall, A.C., Kelly, J.W., Smith, R.S., & Loomis, J.M. (2007).  Changing lanes: Inertial cues and explicit path information facilitate steering performance when visual feedback is removed. Experimental Brain Research, 178(2), 141-150.
  • Macuga, K.L., Papailiou, A.P., & Frey, S.H. (2012). Motor imagery of tool use: Relationship to actual use and adherence to Fitts’ law across tasks. Experimental Brain Research, 218, 169-179.
  • Macuga, K.L., & Frey, S.H. (2014). Differential contributions of the superior and inferior parietal cortex to feedback versus feedforward control of tools. NeuroImage, 92, 36-45